Most of the time, a police officer responds to the scene of a traffic accident. The officer who responds will take statements from witnesses and investigate the scene. The officer's investigation involves the preparation of a police report and often involves giving a traffic ticket to one or more who were people involved in the accident.
Clients often tell me that the other guy got the ticket so that part of the case is closed. What people don't realize is that the ticket is just a traffic charge which requires the other person to pay a fine or appear in court.
If you have ever been to traffic court, you know that it is usually hectic and and crowded. The Commonwealth's Attorneys who a responsible for traffic court cases have large dockets and don't have the time to contact every witness and prepare fully for the facts of each case.
This is why that it is important for accident victims to contact the Commonwealth's Attorney to make sure that they are aware of the case and its importance. The Commonwealth's Attorney will then be familiar with the case and is more likely to be prepared to help you on the day of court.
If the case proceeds to trial with the victim as a witness, the person at fault is more likely to plead guilty. This guilty plea can be used in the accident lawsuit and prevents the person at fault from denying responsibility.
Please, be sure to follow up with the traffic case if you are involved in an accident.