Q: I was involved in an accident. Not at fault. The at fault driver retained a lawyer for serious permanent injuries.
At the accident he was walking around and reported no injuries. He merged into my lane 5 feet in front of my vehicle during a snow storm going slower than me. The speed limit was 55 and I was going no more than 40. causing me to rear end him and pushed me into a parked car. Will this go anywhere? I am clearly not at fault. This is also New York State.
A: I'm sorry about your accident. Make copies of the papers you were served with and give the originals to your insurance carrier. They should arrange a legal defense. New York State is a comparative negligence jurisdiction, which means that each driver's relative fault can be determined as a percentage. There is likely to be conflicting testimony here about you hitting him in the rear, and him cutting you off. Your insurance-appointed attorney will prepare you for depositions and questioning by the opposition. Hopefully, with the guidance of your insurance carrier rep and attorney, they should help you sort things out and deal with this in the best possible manner. Good luck
Jonathan R. Ratchik agrees with this answer
A: That the other driver was walking around immediately following the incident, although relevant, is not dispositive as to whether he sustained a permanent injury from the collision. Many injuries, especially neck and back injuries, do not manifest themselves for several days following the initial trauma. As my colleague correctly advised, report this matter to your insurance company immediately. Your insurance company will assign counsel to defend you and will satisfy any judgment entered against you up to the limits of your insurance policy. Although you claim the other vehicle was at fault, the fact remains that you struck the other vehicle in the rear which, in New York, is prima facie evidence of negligence on your part.
Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer
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