I was changing lanes and checking my side view mirrors, .And the car in front of me suddenly stopped. who is at fault?

Asked 10 months ago - Cranston, RI

I was changing lanes and checking my side view mirrors when the car in front of me suddenly stopped. As I was making the change my rear view and my lights were damaged. The other vehicle barely had any damage. Who is at fault

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Carl P DeLuca

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As a general rule you are required to maintain control if your vehicle and not strike the vehicle in fron't of you. However, if the vehicle in front if you has no valid reason for a sudden stop, they may be partially or even entirely at fault.

    Rhode Island is a very small jurisdiction so it's important that you consider the possibility that people who you... more
  2. Richard Todd Rosenstein

    Contributor Level 19

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The facts are not absolutely clear. However, the fact that you were making a lane change, paying attention to your side view mirror and hit the rear-end of another vehicle does not bode well for you. You should immediately turn the matter over to your own insurance company for investigation and defense.

  3. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Although you were doing a good job being safe for cars on the sides of you, adequate distance from the car in front of you must be maintained, thus, you.

  4. Michael R Bottaro

    Contributor Level 6

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Thank you for your question. My office is located in Cranston, RI. Determining "fault," also known as "liability," presents an issue of fact in this situation. In other words, each side is entitled to present evidence to the fact finder, such as a jury, and the factfinder makes the ultimate determination. Some relevant considerations here include: (1) What was the point of impact between the two vehicles; (2) Were there any witnesses able to testify concerning the actions of each driver?. Factfinders are instructed to assess the facts and apply them to the law. For example, in Rhode Island, the Model Civil Jury Instructions include an instruction that a motorist who strikes the rear of another vehicle is "presumed" to have acted with negligence. This presumption may be rebutted with other evidence. Hope this helps.

    Legal disclaimer: There is no attorney-client relationship formed as a result of this communication. If you find... more
  5. Deepali Meenu Walters

    Contributor Level 16

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Based on the bare facts your presented, it seems most likely that you were at fault.

  6. Neville Joseph Bedford

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . You have an obligation to keep a safe lookout - as do the other drivers - If you entered the lane of another and they did not give way, you are probably as much at fault as the other driver.

    This observation is provided without warranty nor guarantee and for entertainment and informational purposes... more
  7. David Herman Hirsch

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It's really hard to say from just a brief description of fact that you've provided on a site like this. For example, what caused the other vehicle to stop? Perhaps he or she had no choice given what other cars in the vicinity were doing. What you need to keep in mind is that liability in accidents is usually never clear cut, often disputed and always a question of fact. If you have insurance, turn it over to them and let them handle any claims and sort things out. That's why you have insurance. Best of luck to you...

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