The truck driver was sorry and admitted fault at the scene, but the police didn’t give them a ticket. Is this normal?
Yes, it’s normal for police officers to refrain from issuing a truck driver a ticket at the scene of a crash. In fact, it’s common for police officers to not issue tickets in passenger vehicle crashes as well. In truck accident cases, there are several reasons why the officer may refrain from issuing a ticket:
- They feel that there is not enough evidence to cite anyone.
- They’re busy and don’t feel like completing additional paperwork and going to traffic court.
- For whatever reason, they feel like giving the at-fault party some slack.
This may seem highly unusual or even annoying, but understand that police officers are not required to issue citations for a car crash. One reason is that traffic tickers are not admissible as evidence in courts above the small claims level.
The police officer’s initial statement does not go very far in a lawsuit without a depositions (sworn statement under oath where the parties can ask the police officer questions), but it will influence your insurance claim. Insurance companies value police statements and reports very highly in their decision to accept or deny your claim.
If you were involved in an accident with a commercial truck, your lawyer may or may not submit the police report as evidence depending on a wide variety of factors.
A Typical Truck Driver Liability Situation
Before trucking company risk managers and insurance investigators arrive at the scene, at-fault truck drivers are sometimes honest and admit their mistakes. We’ve seen many cases where the truck driver acknowledges wrongdoing, admits they were speeding, inattentive, or changed lanes without looking.
We’ve also seen plenty of instances where different versions of the story emerge after the trucking company and insurance adjusters speak with the truck driver. When the semi-truck driver realizes that their license or employment status is at risk, the story often changes. This scenario is so common that we expect truck drivers to deny liability at their depositions and throughout the claim process.
Other Evidence That Can Determine Fault
If there is no direct evidence available, such as the at-fault driver’s statement admitting that they caused the accident, video footage (from dash cameras for example), or eyewitnesses, the lawyers at the Law Offices of Andrew E. Goldner will collect circumstantial evidence to prove that the truck driver was negligent or reckless. Circumstantial evidence may include:
- Vehicle damage resulting from the accident
- Damage to other property resulting from the accident
- The position of vehicles at the time of and after the accident
- Weather conditions and time of day
- Skid marks or other visible marks on the road due to the accident
- Witness statements
- Positive alcohol or drug test
Your attorney at the Law Offices of Andrew E. Goldner will conduct a thorough investigation of your case and recover all the evidence we possibly can. We’ll be there for you every step of the case from the initial filing to settlement.
If you were involved in an accident with a big rig, tractor trailer, or 18 wheeler, call Andrew Goldner today at (404) 869-1580 for a free case consultation.
What Not To Do After a Truck Accident
There are several steps you can take to protect your legal rights. Your attorney won’t be present at the scene of the accident, so following these steps will ensure that you won’t compromise your case.
Do not apologize to anyone after a car crash.
Many people make unnecessary apologies without even thinking. An apology given to anyone could be interpreted as an admission of guilt and used against you later. It may be tough to hold your tongue, but your case is far more likely to be successful if you refrain from doing so.
Do not post any information about the truck wreck on social media.
Once the insurance company knows who you are, they’ll go all throughout your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social platforms to find any objectionable information about you. Keep in mind that posting on social media includes photos, not just status updates. Photos can be misconstrued and used against you, so it’s best to avoid posting online after a car or truck wreck.
Do not give statements to the other party’s insurance company.
Insurance companies have been known to call people saying they would just like to “check in.” Don’t fall for this trap; if the truck driver’s insurance company calls you, assume that they’re trying to get information out of you that would hurt your case.
The only people you should trust after an accident are your truck accident lawyers.
Hire a Truck Accident Attorney Right Away
If you don’t already have a lawyer, call Andrew E. Goldner today to schedule a free case consultation. Our attorneys will make sure your rights are protected and that you don’t say or do anything that will jeopardize your case. We will conduct a thorough investigation, collect evidence, and negotiate with insurance to get you the compensation you need to move forward.
Remember that the other party isn’t looking out for you; they have their own interests in mind. Our personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Andrew Goldner will put your interests first and fight to recover compensation for you and your family. Call (404) 869-1580 today or contact us online for a free consultation.