Personal Injury Blog

In Maryland, What Effect Does a Traffic Ticket Have on Your Auto Accident Personal Injury Case?

By: Matthew Tievsky

In some of the auto accident cases that we handle in Maryland, the defendant whom we are suing received a ticket from a police officer, as a result of the collision. What effect does this have on your personal injury case?

Usually it has no direct effect. Traffic tickets are issued under the criminal law of Maryland, but a personal injury lawsuit is handled under the civil law of Maryland. This means that even if the traffic court finds the defendant liable under the criminal law, that verdict does not transfer over to your civil case. The exception is where the defendant pleads guilty in traffic court – this is an admission by the defendant that can be used in your civil case against the defendant. But simply paying the traffic fine does not count as a guilty plea, in Maryland. The defendant needs to show up to court and plead guilty.

On the other hand, if the defendant shows up to traffic court, this can be useful whether or not the defendant pleads guilty. If the defendant testifies at traffic court, his/her statements can be used at the civil trial in your case. This is useful if the defendant tells a different story at your trial, than the story that the defendant told at traffic court.

If you have any questions about your possible Maryland car accident case, and how it might be affected by a related traffic case, you should contact the personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.