How do I fight a careless driving ticket if I was the car that got hit by another?

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How do I fight a careless driving ticket if I was the car that got hit by another?

I was turning left onto a two lane highway and just missed the green arrow. I was waiting for my turn to go and when it was safe I began to turn. A car on the other side went around other cars that were turning right onto the same highway as me. Before I even had a chance to turn she struck my car head on and spun me completely around. I cannot see how I was wrong because she ran into me. The police say the law is the law but sometimes the law is wrong in certain situations. My car is totaled and her car has minor damage.

Asked on February 9, 2011 under Accident Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Either the police mispoke or you misheard them. While there are presumptions about who caused and is at fault in certain kinds of accidents, those presumptions, while strong, can be overturned by sufficient evidence. For example, when someone is rear-ended, the presumption is that the car in back was at fault: the accident occured because the driver was too close, traveling too fast to stop, or was inattentive. But if it's shown that the problem was the front driver, without warning or any evident cause, suddenly came to an abrupt stop in the middle of a highway, it may be possible to show that it was not reasonable to expect the rear driver to react in time and it is therefore the front drivers fault.

So it may be possible, depending on the exact circumstances and the evidence that can be mustered, to show that you were not at fault. It may not be easy and it may be expensive, since you could theoretically need expert testimony (e.g. from a crash reconstructionist) and would almost certainly need an attorney. If you are interested in pursuing this, you should consult with a lawyer with car accident and/or traffic ticket experience.


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