If You’re Presumed to be at Fault, Can You Still Collect for Injuries?



My daughter was hurt in an automobile accident. She has forty stitches about her left eye. She is seventeen years old.
My daughter approached a green light, when she reached the white line the light turned yellow. And she kept going. She was struck on the driver’s side. She was driving a Geo Tracker with her stepbrother with her.
Now she is being charged with fail to yield the right of way and not wearing a seat belt. My daughter says the light had just turned yellow and she is extremely upset. She says she has injuries but she is charged with the accident. Can she still claim personal injuries against the other driver? We need some advice.

–Rochelle, Pamplin, VA


Yes, she can still claim personal injuries even though she received the traffic ticket. The traffic ticket is mere hearsay and is not admissible in evidence against her (unless she pleads guilty at the traffic hearing). The police officer’s opinion of who is at fault is not permitted to substitute for that of a jury.
Hence, your daughter, if she had the yellow light, would have had the right-of-way and therefore a viable claim against the other driver.