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How Long After an Accident can a Citation be Issued?

how long after an accident can a citation be issued

You found yourself in a car accident, and you did what you’re supposed to: you called the police.

But the police arrived, investigated, and left without giving you a citation. No ticket, no problems, right? Well, don’t count your chickens before they hatch. The police can still send you a citation in the mail.

How long after an accident can a citation be issued? And should you expect one? Here’s what you need to know.

Why Didn't I Get a Ticket at the Scene of the Accident?

Police issue traffic citations after a car accident when one (or both) drivers broke traffic laws.

The immediate aftermath of an accident is chaotic. Often, neither party can confidently say what happened. And because it’s rare for the police to witness the accident themselves, evidence of wrongdoing may be murky.

Before issuing a ticket, police are likely to review traffic cameras, talk to witnesses, and wait for the arrival of a complete police report.

How Long After an Accident can a Citation Be Issued?

Unfortunately, there’s no correct answer to this question. There are too many factors involved in when and how the police can cite you for your participation in an accident.

It depends on the accident, whether you were at fault, and a mix of local laws, state statutes, and the operating procedures of the law enforcement body that responded to the scene.

When Am I Likely to Get a Ticket After an Accident?

In some cases, walking away from the scene without a citation does mean you’re free to go. However, if you know you broke traffic laws, then you should expect your ticket in the mail because the police will likely find out.

What cases are more likely to see citations? You’re more likely to get a ticket if you were:

For example, if you blew a stoplight and the camera catches you, then you will still likely get a ticket.

What Happens if I Get a Ticket After an Accident?

Getting a ticket after an accident in New York isn’t the end of the world.

New York is a no-fault state, which means a traffic citation won’t impact your insurance claim.

Additionally, it won’t necessarily impact your injury lawsuit. For example, it might not matter if you received a speeding citation if the other driver was drunk. The court looks at the series of events and considers all the evidence rather than relying solely on traffic citations.

Were You Injured in a Car Accident? Do This Next

How long after an accident can a citation be issued? The answer is any time when there’s evidence you broke a traffic law. While the citation may impact your insurance claim, it won’t interfere with a personal injury lawsuit.

Were you injured in a car accident? The most important thing you can do is make sure you get seen by a doctor ASAP. Call 1-800-897-8440 to help find a car accident physician near you.


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