It is uncommon for us to discuss criminal actions on our blog; but when they stem from traffic violations, it is worth reminding our readers of how important criminal violations can be when it comes to personal injury lawsuits.
For the uninitiated, all drivers in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania have a legal duty to use reasonable care while behind the wheel. This means that drivers must drive as a reasonable person would. And to do this, they must drive while limiting distractions, adhere to speed limits and refrain from using alcohol or other mood altering substances while behind the wheel. If they fail to do so, and an accident occurs because of it, an offending driver could be held liable.
Proving liability is not always an easy task. The evidence must show that it is more likely than not that a driver failed to use reasonable care which led directly to the accident. However, there are some elements that indicate that a person failed to use such care. One of them is the conviction of a traffic violation.
For example, if a driver suspected of causing an accident is cited for making an unsafe lane change or running a red light, this could be viewed as evidence that the driver did not use reasonable care. The same could be said of a driver who was charged and convicted of driving while intoxicated.
So if you have been involved in a crash and the other driver is suspected of a traffic violation, it is important to let your attorney know.