Hi, I’m John Medler, personal injury lawyer with The Medler Law Firm – Personal Injury & Accident Attorneys. Today I’d like to talk about whether you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against someone else when the police officer wrote down in the police report that it was your fault. The answer is, yes you can.
You’d be surprised to know that the opinion of the officer in that police report is completely admissible in most states, including California. And the reason is is because the officer wasn’t there and didn’t witness the accident. So his after the fact idea of who was at fault doesn’t come into evidence. So therefore what the police officer wrote down does not affect whether you can bring a personal injury case.
Now, that being said, the officer might issue a ticket at the scene. If he gives you a ticket, for example, running a red light or speeding or something like that, you want to get that ticket to your personal injury lawyer right away. Your personal injury lawyer, either himself or working with a criminal defense lawyer can try and negotiate an alternative plea arrangement for that ticket. Maybe they plead down your ticket to ‘illegal parking’ or ‘excessive vehicular noise’ or something like that. That type of non-moving violation won’t come into evidence.
On the other hand, if you do nothing and you don’t tell your personal injury lawyer about that ticket, you can be found guilty of that ticket and that will dramatically affect your personal injury case. In that case, the other side could admit your guilty plea to show that in fact you were responsible for the accident, so make sure you give all the information to your personal injury lawyer and consult with one right away.
If you have any more questions about auto accidents and personal injury, check out our website at www.MedlerLawFirm.com. or give our Orange County car accident attorney a call for a free consultation.