I rear-ended someone who slammed on their brakes ahead of me. What are my options?

Asked about 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

A minor fender bender. I was going approx 7mph with no damage to my vehicle. We exchanged information & then I went on my way. After I left the scene, he stayed back & called the police; 1 of the 4 individuals in the car claimed personal injury after I left. Police took his statement, not mine, then called me for my statement. I've left 6 msgs already for this officer, still waiting. I also found out that I was an excluded driver on the policy covering the vehicle I was driving. I used the vehicle without permission. I have a message from the other driver's insurance co asking for my statement. I'm not sure how to proceed. Should I contact the other driver to see if I can negotiate something or his insurance co and give them a statement? Should I keep quiet and hire an attorney asap?

Additional information

For clarification, this is not a hit & run situation. Also, when I say that I used the vehicle without permission, it was the vehicle of a member of the household I live in and I was not authorized to use it. The owner does not wish me ill, though I have betrayed their trust. Do I still need to hire a criminal attorney? Or should I find someone who can defend against a personal injury claim?

Attorney answers (9)

  1. Sharon Paris Babakhan

    Contributor Level 15

    18

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with everyone. Do not make any statements, hire an attorney and the attorney will take care of the matter for you. This case is very fishy. Injuries could show up after a while and not necessarily at the moment but considering your speed and other facts it seems weird. Call an attorney. Most of us offer free consultation.

    Sharon Paris Babakhan
    (818) 480-3571
    www.sharonbabakhanlaw.com

  2. Manuel Alzamora Juarez

    Contributor Level 20

    16

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Hire a lawyer and do not make statements. Best of luck.

    This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de... more
  3. Jonathan David Marx

    Contributor Level 14

    17

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Hire an attorney as soon as possible before giving any statements without the advice of an attorney, best of luck.

    The above answer is for information only; and does NOT constitute legal advice. This answer does not constitute,... more
  4. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    17

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Keep your mouth shut, and retain a local criminal lawyer to resolve it.

  5. Kevin Coluccio

    Contributor Level 20

    14

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Hire a lawyer right away. Do not give a statement.

  6. Matthew Paul Krupnick

    Contributor Level 12

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should do nothing but get a lawyer. You sound like you are on the edge of making some big waves for yourself.

    Nothing stated throughout any post, blog (or related comments of any type) made by Mattthew Krupnick, any member,... more
  7. Richard Andrew Harting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I doubt you need a criminal lawyer - you need a lawyer that can help defend the injury and property damage claims coming in against you and the vehicle owner. If you have your own insurance they should handle this mess for you.

  8. Avedis Nalbandian

    Contributor Level 10

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, hire a personal injury attorney to handle this. If you have car insurance yourself for a vehicle you own, they should cover the damages.

  9. Albert Lee Crosner

    Contributor Level 18

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . "Should I keep quiet and hire an attorney asap?"

    YES!

    Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The... more

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