Often time, the at fault party in an accident is given a ticket, for following to close, failure to yield, careless driving, running a stop sign, etc. Similar to the police report privilege in Florida, there is a similar rule which doesn’t allow the plaintiff or defendant to admit or discuss whether there was a citation issued. Many of our clients ask how could that be, when the police knew who was at fault and wrote the defendant a ticket? The answer is a matter of public policy. The purpose of writing tickets is to deter future infractions as well as earn revenue for the town or county where the infraction occurred. By making tickets inadmissible, it helps promote quick payment of the tickets.
It can be very frustrating for plaintiffs when a defendant receives a ticket, pleads guilty to the citation, then tell his or her insurance company or attorney that the accident wasn’t his or her fault.
Unfortunately for plaintiffs, inquiry into whether a defendant driver has received a ticket with regard to the accident in question in a negligence action will constitute prejudicial error and warrants a granting of a mistrial. Royal Indemnification Co. v. Muscato , App.4th District 305 So.2d 228 (1974).
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