What to do if I was cited for careless driving because I pulled out from a parking lane and hit the rear of a car traveling in the main lane across a mall?

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What to do if I was cited for careless driving because I pulled out from a parking lane and hit the rear of a car traveling in the main lane across a mall?

I’d looked both ways and seen no one and the other car seemed to just appear. I hadn’t been on the cellphone or distracted. At the time no one looked hurt and they said no one was when the police came. But now they’re claiming injury. I sort of expected it because one of them was really angry. Should I worry about being sued, even though my insurance covers injury as well as repair to their vehicle? And if I should, should I pay the fine (which I assume is an admission of 100% responsibility) or go to court to point out the nuances?

Asked on July 22, 2013 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Although you can challenge the fine in court and it may be reduced, it won't be eliminated because it was a rear-end collision.  Since it was a rear-end collision, you are liable for the property damage and personal injury claims of the other party.

Most of these cases settle with the insurance company without a lawsuit being filed.  The property damage is usually settled early in the case.   The personal injury claim which will include medical bills, pain and suffering, and wage loss won't be settled until the injured party completes his/her medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in treatment where no further improvement is anticipated.

Again, most of these auto accident personal injury claims are settled with the insurance company.  It may be several months or possibly a year or longer before the case settles.  If it doesn't settle and a lawsuit is filed, your insurance company will handle it and will provide you with an attorney at no cost to you.  Don't worry about a lawsuit because these cases usually settle without a lawsuit being filed.  Also, it may be more than a year before any potential lawsuit is filed if the case doesn't settle with your insurance company.


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