What do I do if i was put at fault for an accident that I didn’t neccesarily cause?

I rear-ended the car in front of me because the car before her braked out of nowhere after almost almost hitting a pedestrian and taking off.

Asked on October 28, 2014 under Accident Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If sued for money (e.g. for damage to the front car, or for personal injury to a driver or passenger), you can try to defend by attempting to show that you were not at fault; however, be aware that you will probably lose. The law presumes that the rear driver is at fault in such collisions, because he or she should be maintaining a sufficient following distance (given speed, conditions, etc.) to come to a safe stop even if the car(s) in front of him or her come to a sudden, unexpected stop. If you hit a car braking in front of you, then almost by definition, either your were not maintaining a safe following distance or you were not paying enough attention (so that you did not begin braking in time).

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