Multiple rear end collisions...

by Doris

The car in front of me came to an abrupt stop. She said that someone in front of her stopped for no apparent reason. I stood on my brakes and was stopping when I was rear ended and the impact caused me to crash into the car in front of me. I initially had ankle pain and recently developed knee pain. I think I twisted my ankle and knee in the accident.

I do not have an attorney and my insurance company is taking care of the bills. The car that hit me was totaled and their insurance company said they would not pay medical since it was such a low impact 3mph crash (no way this is true). I don't think she even put on her brakes and my car had $8k in damages.

I didn't seek an attorney since I didn't think I was really seriously hurt, but now I'm thinking I should have. Is it too late? Or should I just let my insurance continue to handle it? It's been 3 months since the accident. I had X-rays on my ankle and did see the doctor the day of the accident.

What's the best course of action here? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Multiple rear end collisions...":

Doris (Ohio):

Regardless of the speed at time of impact, it is arguable the driver behind you was in violation of the Ohio Revised Code - Section 4511.34 (A) - Space Between Moving Vehicles, commonly referred to as "Following too Closely."

Section 4511.34 can be summarized as follows: A driver shall not follow another driver more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the driver and the flow of traffic.

While it is remotely possible, it is unlikely you could have sustained a serious injury at 3 miles per hour. Your decision not to seek medical attention at or about the time of the accident was unfortunate. With each day that passed after the accident you permitted the driver’s insurance company more time to take the position your injuries were not directly caused the accident.

Because the driver crashed into the rear of your car, you have a very strong argument the driver is wholly liable for the damage to your car.

While contacting your insurance company right after the accident was the correct thing to do under the cooperation clause in your policy, you should have also filed a property damage claim against the driver's insurance company.

If your insurance company pays for your property damage, they will thereafter likely "subrogate" against the other driver, or his insurance company. To subrogate means your insurance will seek reimbursement from the driver or his insurance company for the monies they paid out in your property damage claim.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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