Crawfordsville, IN asked in Personal Injury and Car Accidents for Indiana

Q: If a car runs a stop sign causing a speeding moped to hit the car who is at fault? Can a video give probable for a charg

Can a police officer be at fault for giving a speeding charge and not a disregarding a stop sign? What if that same officer has been harassing the one charged?

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: Your question is not stated clearly enough to give you a definitive answer. If you are saying that a moped was proceeding straight, through an intersection for which it had the right-of-way and the car entered the intersection from the other road, failing to stop at the stop sign, the vehicle that disregarded the stop sign caused the accident. If the responding officer witnessed the accident or the driver of the car admitted that he failed to stop, the officer could issue a ticket. In general, a responding officer will not issue a traffic citation for behavior that the officer did not personally witness unless that behavior is freely admitted.

On your facts, it appears that you are driving the moped and you received a citation for speeding. There are very few scenarios where the officer would be able to cite you for speeding and not witness the accident. For example, you may have passed the officer while speeding, on a straightaway and the intersection where the accident occurred may have been just around a bend in the road or just over a hill in the road, allowing for the possibility that the impact could occur prior to the officer reaching the accident site. In that scenario, it would be possible for the officer to cite you for speeding because the officer directly observed you speeding but not cite the car for failure to obey a stop sign because the driver of the car probably made the representation that they stopped, and looked both ways, before proceeding into the intersection. Again, in that scenario, if the intersection was just around the corner or just over the crest of the hill, and you were speeding, it is entirely possible that the car did stop at the stop sign.

As you can see from my example very small details will make all the difference. If the situation is, as I outlined it, the situation becomes one where it is your word against the other driver's word and the only testimony that the officer can contribute is the fact that he saw you speeding. If you want to challenge the speeding ticket, it is in your best interest to identify a traffic attorney who regularly practices in Montgomery County. If you don't know of anyone, the best place to start would be the Montgomery County Bar Association. They should be able to provide a list of attorneys who regularly practice that area of law, in that locale. It would probably be the best outcome for you to seek a deferred prosecution of the speeding ticket. That way, you could argue to the insurance company that the accident was clearly the other driver's fault because they failed to stop at the stop sign and the only reason that the officer didn't cite the driver was because the officer did not witness the incident. On the other hand, you, had the right-of-way. Once you begin muddying the waters with the speeding ticket, you give the insurance company the ammunition that you were contributorily negligent. That gives the insurance company a perfectly legal reason to pay less money on the claim.

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