How best to fight a ticket regarding a car accident?

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How best to fight a ticket regarding a car accident?

I got into a car accident and need some help to see if I can fight a ticket. I was driving down the highway at 45 miles per hour when there was an ambulance broken down about 150 feet ahead in the left turning lane (only emergency flashers were on; yellow lights). 2 cars ahead of me someone tried to turn and brakes in the passing lane (lane I was in) and caused the car in front of me to brake (heavy braking because the driver did not see the ambulance). I instantly tried braking and ended up hitting the car in front of me going around 10 mph.

Asked on October 28, 2011 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You're in a tough place. Generally, to fight a ticket for something like this (hitting another car), you have to show that you did nothing wrong--you were driving safely and appropriately (for the conditions), and the accident was due to circumstances beyond your own control. However, there is a strong presumption that the driver who rear-ends another is in fact at fault. The notion is that he either was following too close for conditions and couldn't stop in time, or that he wasn't paying attention and didn't brake quickly enough. It is likely you will not be able to get out of the ticket, though if you have a clean record otherwise and at least some circumstances in your favor, there's a chance you can get it reduced to a lesser offense. Your best bet is to retain experienced local counsel: a lawyer who handles tickets in this court, and who knows the prosecutor(s), judge(s), etc. He'll be best able to negotiate the ticket down (or to fight it, if there are strong facts in your favor).


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