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Involved in minor accident, should I plead 'no contest' if I'm worried about being sued in a civil case?

I rear ended someone, which caused very minor damage to the vehicle. No injuries were reported. I received a citation for failure to maintain distance. I would like to just pay the fine online, but I'm worried that pleading guilty online will make it easier for the other car owner to sue me in small claims court (though I don't think its likely given the minimal damage and no injuries, but you never know). Should I show up in person to the arraignment and plead no contest?

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