Police Officer 1

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Q: I am a police officer and was seated in my three-wheeled scooter.  It was struck from the rear by a van.  I was on the scene in response to a call and was investigating an unrelated accident involving other vehicles.

A: Most likely, a question of fact exists as to whether the driver of the van was negligent.  A rear-end collision into a stopped automobile creates a ‘prima facie’ case of liability with respect to the driver.  This imposes a duty of explanation.  After all, the driver is in a better position to excuse the collision through (a) mechanical failure, or (b) sudden stop of the vehicle ahead, or (c) unavoidable skidding on a wet pavement, or (d) other reasonable cause.

Suppose that the driver attempts to rebut the inference of negligence with evidence that her van slid into your scooter because of oil on the road.  There will still be several factual issues, such as whether she should have seen the oil spill before she collided with your vehicle.

If all goes well, such issues will require denial of the driver’s motion for summary judgment and put you on the right track for a satisfactory settlement agreement or jury verdict.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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