Road Rage : Part 3

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Q: A week ago, I was on the highway.  It has two lanes on each side, and I was in the left one.  Soon I came upon a traffic jam.  A police car was planted in the left lane.  I almost crashed into him.  Then someone rear-ended me.

Visitors have told me that the traffic jam was caused when two other drivers screeched to a halt in order to have an animated disagreement.  Right in the middle of the road, they stopped their cars and pulled out their fists.  Someone said it was because of an unkind text message.

A: Under Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1202(a)(1)(j), with a few exceptions, no one may stop, stand or park a vehicle on a state expressway highway or on a state interstate route highway, including the entrances and exits.  The situation of the first two drivers is not among those exceptions.

For whatever comfort it gives you, you have an excellent case of negligence against the quarreling drivers.  From their halting their cars, your getting rear-ended was a normal or foreseeable consequence.  This negligence was a proximate cause of the rear-end collision that you suffered.

The driver who rear-ended you may well not be at fault, but your attorney will name him or her too as a defendant.  A rear-end collision with a stopped vehicle creates a prima facie case of negligence with respect to the operator of the moving vehicle – the driver who rear-ended you.  Although you have given me an explanation of what caused the accident, it is technically the rear-ender’s duty to come forward with this explanation.

Good luck, and feel better.

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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