Visitor Question

Ticketed by police but not at-fault?

Submitted By: Randi (Hulbert, Oklahoma)

I was driving through an intersection , my light was green but turned red as I was in the middle of the intersection and the other driver hit me. My 3 children were bruised and my oldest has whiplash and a concussion. I have lower back pain, pulled muscles and miles whiplash.

Both cars were damaged. I was the one who got a ticket. The cop said I ran the light, but as I told him it didn’t turn red until I was in the middle of the intersection. How do I file the claim and actually get a settlement if I was the one who got the ticket? Is there anything I can do? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Randi,

Unfortunately you are at an immediate disadvantage. While the issuance of a traffic citation is only circumstantial evidence of guilt, the insurance company isn’t bound by the Oklahoma Rules of Criminal Evidence. Whether you believe you are guilty of the citation or not, you have a contractual duty to notify your own insurance company and report the accident.

You have every right to contact the other driver’s insurance company and file a property damage and personal injury claim for you and on behalf of your children. It is likely however, based on the police report and traffic citation, your claim will be denied. In the event the other driver files a property damage or personal injury claim, your insurance company will only pay the claim if they believe you were at fault.

The State of Oklahoma is a Modified Comparative Negligence state. Under Title 23 §13, an injured driver may be entitled to compensation for an injury even if that driver was partially at fault for the accident. However, if the driver’s negligence exceeds 50%, the driver is wholly barred from recovering any compensation from the other driver.

Your insurance company will very likely rely on Section 13 when deciding whether to pay the driver’s claim. Speak with your insurance company and explain what happened. Your insurance company is on your side. At least, for now.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 19, 2017

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