What if I Got a Ticket Too?
A lot of people assume that if they received a ticket for a car crash, they are unable to make a claim for compensation.
This is not true. There are some situations in which you may have
done something wrong in a car wreck but are still entitled to make a
claim against the other driver.
For example, if you weren't wearing a seatbelt when a wreck happened and got a ticket for it, you can still make a claim. Not being belted doesn't make the wreck your fault.
(That said, you should of course wear your seatbelt...)
Or say you got a ticket for failure to use your signals in a rear-end collision.
The driver behind you still has the duty to keep a safe distance and is still presumed to be at-fault under Louisiana law. This means you still have the right to seek compensation for being hit.
One thing that is interesting about Louisiana versus other states is our comparative fault laws. In some other states, if you are deemed at-fault at all, you cannot receive compensation for a wreck that was also another person's fault.
In Louisiana, however, you can still be awarded compensation even if you are partially at fault.
So even if you weren't wearing a seatbelt (but please do) or were distracted by the man spinning a sign on the corner and didn't respond quickly enough, you may still have a claim in a car wreck. The best thing to do is talk to a lawyer about it.
I'd like to think most lawyers would shoot you straight and tell you if your claim is not worth pursuing because of all the different factors at play, including your own level of fault.
But the bottom line is, don't assume that because you got a ticket or were partially at fault it means that you do not have the right to a claim.