What to do if I was rear-ended by a driver who was following to close to my car?

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What to do if I was rear-ended by a driver who was following to close to my car?

The other driver claims I was backing up and his insurance company refuses to accept liability. I had stopped in a shopping center parking lot to avoid hitting a car that had cut in front of me as I was exiting. I received back trauma and I am continuing to receive medical treatment. What is the basic law regarding safe traveling distance between 2 cars for the driver behind me?

Asked on March 29, 2013 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is no hard and fast law for the safe following or traveling distance--it is contextual, and depends on circumstances. That said, generally speaking, the law presumes that the rear driver in a collision like this is at fault, since generally, that person had the responsibility for maintaining a safe distance, had the better visibility, etc. That presumption does not mean the rear driver is automatically liable or financially responsible, but it does require him/her to come up (in the event of a lawsuit by the front driver) with good evidence showing that in this case, the other driver (the front one) was at fault to rebut liability.

If the other driver's insurance company will not compensate you, your recourse is to sue the other driver and prove in court that he or she was at fault in causing the accident and your injuries.


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