An intersection collision in Centralia resulted in injuries to the driver and passenger of one of the vehicles involved. The intersection was controlled by a traffic light. The driver of one of the vehicles involved claimed that his brakes failed, and as a result, he entered the intersection on a red light. He received a traffic ticket for disobeying a traffic control device.
The driver and passenger of the other vehicle were removed from the scene by ambulance and taken to the emergency room.
The issue of who is responsible for a collision is at the heart of every case involving a car accident. However, the issue of who did or did not receive a ticket does not settle the question.
The fact that a driver was ticketed after an accident is admissible in a civil lawsuit for injuries only if the driver receiving the ticket pleads guilty in traffic court to the charges in the citation. If the driver pleads not guilty, the fact that he received a ticket does not come into evidence — even if he is convicted of the charge in traffic court.
Going further, assuming that there is a guilty plea in traffic court and evidence is admitted about the citation, the jury will be instructed the violation of the statute if only one factor for them to consider in deciding whether and to what extent the defendant was negligent.