Tel - 414.207.4426
Tel - 608.320.6710
Most people think that if a police officer says you are at fault that it means you were at fault. In the legal world, the police officer's opinion is not as important as it seems. Something to keep in mind is that in the majority of car accidents, the police officer does not witness anything, they arrive after the crash. Therefore, a witness's statements of what he or she saw, heard, etc. is much more important than a police officer who shows up after the fact. Furthermore, police officers are not always aware of the laws and how they are interpreted in specific situations. It is common for officers to consult with a SGT. or other officer before even deciding whether to issue a ticket because they are not sure of who was at fault if anyone.
What if you got a ticket? This generally does not matter either. If a person pleads no contest to a ticket evidence of the ticket will not be admitted at a civil trial.
If there is a trial in your case the police officer will likely be called as a witness. Whether or not the officer can testify about his or her opinion depends on whether or not the officer is properly qualified to give the opinion. This is a complex legal issue decided by a judge after reviewing legal briefs and hearing testimony by the officer outside the presence of the jury.
Although people tend to believe the police in general, a skilled trial lawyer can point out to the jury that the officer was not present, did not witness anything, and why his or her opinion is wrong.
In a past case handled by personal injury attorney Clayton Griessmeyer, a bicyclist was injured by a driver and cited by the police. The driver was not cited. The case went to trial and the jury found the driver 80% at fault even though an officer testified he thought it was the bicyclist's fault.
Please call me anytime. I am happy to provide free advice and always willing to meet with people at a location that is convenient for them. My phone numbers: 608 320-6710 (Madison area) and 414-207-4426 (Milwaukee Area). email: firstname.lastname@example.org