Why am i more than 50% at fault when someone hits my car from behind? Do I have a reasonable chance to correct by appeal?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Cambridge, MA

I was involved in a collision, evening rush hour, dark, rainy, local street, 2-way traffic each way. I was changing lanes, had my blinker on, saw a 2-3 car length opening to the left and merged. I was almost completely in the lane turning into the flow of traffic when i was hit from the rear. Damage was to the left rear panel that has the wheel opening. Police arrived, heard stories, and helped exchange information. I was asked to file an accident report which I did. Received a Surcharge Notice from my insurance company today saying I am >50% at fault. Cited with an Out of Lane Collision (05). Do I have a reasonable chance to appeal this? What constitutes "proper lane" and "rear section" under 211.74.03. I would think this was a Rear End Collision (03). Thanks for any response.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can retain a local traffic court lawyer to fight a citation. With respect to liability, if you were injured, retain a personal injury lawyer. An insurance company doesn't have the right to assign fault.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  2. Henry Lebensbaum

    Contributor Level 20

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Appeal it. And ask for a detailed explanation.

    Criminal Law (all misdemeanor & felonies in District and Superior Courts), Drunk Driving and Drug arrests, Sex... more
  3. Joshua Sachs

    Contributor Level 19

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It does not sound as though you have been stuck with an criminal or civil liability on this case, at least not at this point. What you are asking about is a determination by your own insurance company. There is probably an internal appeal mechanism within the company, and possibly a review procedure available through your state insurance commission. What the standard of review is I have no idea. I assume the decision was based on you cutting into a small space leaving an unreasonably small interval for the car behind you. It sounds to me as though reasonable people could disagree on the allocation of fault in this situation.

  4. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Are you asking about a legal appeal? An insurer is going to say what it can to avoid paying out on a policy.

    More details are needed.

  5. Michael Shemtoub

    Contributor Level 17

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Attorney Lassen. You do need to file an appeal. I would suggest you contact a local attorney for help.
    Good Luck
    Check out my website below and give me a call for a free consultation if you are a California resident 877-427-2752 or you can email me at Michael@Kingofpersonalinjurylaw.com

    www. KingofPersonalInjuryLaw.com

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    Check out my website below and give me a call for a free consultation if you are a California resident 877-427-... more
  6. Scott J. Corwin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should contact a local attorney to assist you in your case.

  7. Christopher W. Vaughn-Martel

    Contributor Level 17

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Based only on where you were struck by the other car, it sounds as though a determination that you are at fault is not unreasonable. If you are going to enter a lane of travel, you must yield to other drivers in that lane who have the right of way. It sounds as though you were struck on the side panel and not the rear of your car. I will leave it to the others to weigh your chances on appeal.

    Christopher Vaughn-Martel is a Massachusetts lawyer with the firm of Vaughn-Martel Law in Boston, Massachusetts.... more

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