If I rear-ended the car in front of me, what is my potential liability?

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If I rear-ended the car in front of me, what is my potential liability?

I was stopped at a red light when I reached for my backpack in the front passenger seat. My foot came off the brake and I bumped the car in front of me. There was little to no damage. The officer showed up about 10 minutes after the incident and there are some incorrect details on the crash report. I got a ticket for ACDA. Can I argue this ticket and what if the other driver falsely claims back and neck injury?

Asked on November 27, 2014 under Accident Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You probably cannot successfully fight the ticket in that you were evidently careless and hit the car in front of you--though you may be able to bargin it down to a lesser offense on the day of trial, especially if you otherwise have a clean record.

If the other driver falsely claims injuries or damage that did not occur, you can refuse to pay and force him to prove the existence of those injuries, damage, costs, etc. in court. He can only recover for the injuries, etc. he can show you caused (e.g. not for made-up or pre-existing ones)--but, since you did rear-end him, would be able to recover compensation for anything he can show you did or caused.


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