Q: I had lawfully changed lanes and was stopped at a red light – when I was struck in the rear by a van. The driver says that, no, I had changed lanes suddenly and come to a sudden stop – he applied his brakes at a normal braking distance and slid into my car because of the wet condition of the roadway.
The impact forced my car through the intersection, onto the sidewalk, and into a nearby building.
A: Generally, a rear-end collision creates a prima facie case of liability of the part of the operator of the rear vehicle and imposes upon him a duty of explanation. When a driver approaches another vehicle from the rear, he is bound to maintain a reasonably safe rate of speed, to maintain control of his vehicle and to use reasonable care to avoid colliding with your vehicle.
From what you tell me, and given the force of the impact, it does not sound like the driver will prevail with a defense of sudden or unavoidable circumstances that contributed to the happening of the accident, if your attorney does his or her homework, particularly in view of the fact that an operator of a vehicle must compensate for any known adverse road conditions.
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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