What is a legal excuse for an accident?

UPDATED: Mar 30, 2012

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What is a legal excuse for an accident?

I got a ticket for aggressive driving (too close to car in front) but it was bumper-t0-bumper traffic and it was raining hard so my car started to skid. I rear-ended the car in front. All of the other cars were moving so I assumed her car would be moving too, so I started to press on the accelerator but then I noticed that her car was the only one not moving. At that point I pressed on the breaks but my car started to skid. I hit the right side of her bumper and it now has a dent. The police came to do a police report. The cop gave me a ticket for aggressive driving driving too close. I know it was my fault for rear-ending her but can the judge excuse the ticket due to the driving conditions?

Asked on March 30, 2012 under Accident Law, Washington


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Although it is not possible to predict the outcome of a particular case or how a judge will rule in a case, it is unlikely that the judge will dismiss your ticket.  The reason is that the judge will rely on the police report in which you were cited for following too closely/ unsafe following distance due to weather conditions.  Since it was a rear-end collision due to these factors, it is unlikely the judge will dismiss your ticket.  Also, traffic courts are usually not too concerned with the driver's explanation for the violation.

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