Click here to learn about our COVID-19 Announcement

Can You Get A Ticket Long After An Accident?

We often talk about vehicle accidents and their aftermath here on the Big Blue M Blog. Makes sense when you think about it; we’re the best in the business when it comes to repairing our customers’ cars and getting them back to their pre-loss condition.

Small silver car rammed into back of black SUV, crunching the front end of the silver car

So naturally we — and visitors to our blog — are interested in discussing vehicle collisions, insurance questions, and the ins-and-outs of our Portland and Vancouver auto body shops.

Speaking of ins-and-outs: When your vehicle comes in to one of McCollum’s conveniently located auto body shops in Portland, Eugene, or Vancouver, you can be sure we’ll get it out and back on the road quickly.

In fact, our turnaround times are among the best in the business. McCollum is ahead of the curve in this respect, with turnaround times that consistently surpass industry averages. Specifically, our customers get their vehicles back on the road about two days faster than the market average.


Accident Aftermath

Now to the topic at hand: Can you get a ticket after an accident? By “after” we mean long after — not in the immediate aftermath of an accident. In other words, if you’ve been in an accident, can you be ticketed days or even weeks later?

Answers to this question are harder to come by than you might imagine. This is because the answers depend on the accident itself, who was at fault, the standard operating procedures of local law enforcement, and your specific location at the time of the accident — i.e., state and local laws.

As the kids say, YMMV (your mileage may vary), so be sure to speak with your insurance company about specific laws where you live. And it doesn’t hurt to get proper legal advice.

The Basics

But we can go over the basics for you, so let’s get started.

First of all, if you’ve been ticketed in the immediate aftermath and at the scene of the accident, that’s a pretty clear indication that you’re at fault. What does that mean? lays it out for us.

“A driver who receives a ticket in connection with a car accident is almost always going to be considered at fault for the crash,” they write. “That means, if you were cited at the scene and you try to make an insurance claim or file a lawsuit in which you accuse the other driver of being negligent, you are almost definitely going to lose.” goes further into the discussion of a ticket in the immediate aftermath of an accident — with information specific to the Beaver State. In “10 Critical Steps After An Oregon Car Accident they write: “If a police officer decides you violated Oregon’s traffic laws, you may be issued one or more traffic tickets. You can try to talk the officer out of giving you a ticket, but if you are issued a citation you must accept it, and if requested, sign it. Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt. A traffic citation is your promise to appear in traffic court. Court is the place for you to argue about a traffic violation, not the accident scene.”

The Details

But what if you get a ticket long after an accident? Here’s where things get murky.

Yes, it’s possible to receive a citation long after an accident. This usually happens when the other party involved in the accident has filed a police report several days after an accident. It is also possible — again depending on where you live and where the accident occurred — that an officer will issue a citation long after an accident. This happens when the officer has completed their investigation of the accident.

McCollum Auto Body

While this material is offered to you as an overview, we’d like to stress that it’s intended to provide general information only. You should always consult with insurance or legal experts to determine the full breadth of options available to law enforcement when it comes to citing drivers involved in accidents.

And remember: You should also consult another expert — the experts at McCollum Auto Body, who will return your vehicle to its pre-loss condition and get you back out there on the road fast.