If I need to appear in traffic court for a car accident, should I get a lawyer?

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If I need to appear in traffic court for a car accident, should I get a lawyer?

Was hit trying to make a left hand turn, I was pulled up slightly in the intersection waiting for traffic to clear, light turned yellow I took a look at oncoming traffic and all were slowing down, there was another vehicle about a block or so away from the intersection, with the light already yellow and going to be red in a matter of seconds I started to make my turn when I saw that vehicle speed up, I assume to try to beat the red light, I braked, and he just kept on coming at approximately 40 mph (in a 30mph zone) he never braked, and never tried to swerve and hit me. I was later ticketed. I’m in Erie County, PA.

Asked on October 1, 2011 under Accident Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As for whether you should get an attorney for the ticket, the issue is (1) how many points are you looking at for the ticket; (2) how many tickets or points, if any, do you currently have on your license; 3) given 1) and 2), what is the likely impact on your ability to drive and insurance rates; and finally 4) given the impact (item # 3, above), how does that compare to the cost of an attorney to appear with you, which is probably around $200 - $400? Having an attorney does not guaranty success--i.e. it doesn't guaranty you'll get rid of, or even reduce, the ticket and the points--but it certainly increases the chance of a successful outcome for you. You need to weigh improving the odds of a good outcome, bearing in mind the possible consequences to you, vs. the cost of the laywer (in light of your financial situation); that's how you decide whether to have an attorney or not. Good luck.


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