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wrote:

I've done it too - Not hard enough to cause an accident, or even the likelihood of one - but enough to make the trucker behind remember that I could outstop him about 3:1, and unless he wanted to have an at fault accident he better back off to a safe distance.
This only after having tapped the brakes enough to just put on the brake lights several times as a hint. 3 flashes of the brake tlights, then just enough brake to make the car dive a bit, and the back end come up.
When he's close enough behind that I can't see his headlights in a PT cruiser he's WAY too close!!!
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In wrote:

When I worked at Hammond Organ in Chgo, I happened to look out the stairway window and saw an acquaintance do a quick-stop on a 4-lane crowded city street. He got tapped. He got out of his car carryng a tire iron to go talk to the truck driver and the truck driver got out wth a gun in his hand! When he got back into his car, he didn't even turn into our parkng lot but drove off, so the truck driver wouldn't know where he worked, he said later. Funny as hell at the time but it could have been serious. He took a lot of ribbing over it as by the tme it was over there were about 6 of us standing there watchng out the 1 1/2 flr stair window.
I'll often use the triple-tap on a trucker behind me because most of the time they'll back off for you unless they're looking to pass. For cars I either ignore them or if there's enough room n front of me I'll slow down and force them to pass. Once they pass or back off, then I'll resume whatever speed traffic is moving at and almost always end up right behind them again.
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mm wrote:

Sometimes a half-step is enough...
-Bob
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Lucky you... If you done that sort of thing in New England you might have been cited for road rage and unsafe operation depending on whether any witnesses who were not involved in the accident waited around to rat you out for clearly causing the accident...
Also, never take for granted anymore that a traffic accident was not captured on a surveillance camera -- the cop at the scene might let you go, but he/she knows who you are and where to find you if the recorded footage shows that you were the one at fault... That sort of driving can come back to bite you in the ass eventually...
~~ Evan
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In article

This is one we pulled up on. IIRC, and it has been a couple of years, the damage profile was what made it look to him (anyway) like a bad lane change. Either way, not something I would like to depend on.
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That depends on where you are located and how many witnesses stick around... If you rear end a vehicle whose driver just committed traffic offenses to get into the lane ahead of you then the "you hit the back of my car so you are at fault" line of logic does not always apply -- anyway in a two car accident most places these days will apply 50:50 at fault so both operators can take the insurance points increase... The only way to not have 50:50 at fault is to be involved in an car accident with three or more vehicles damaged...
~~ Evan
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On Thu, 23 Jun 2011 10:33:05 -0700 (PDT), Evan

Exactly.

I don't believe there is any state where a law says "one who hits another in the rear is at fault". I doubt there is even a law that says that is the presumption. Or a regulation. It's more likely it's the rebuttable presumption, not even written down maybe, because it makes sense and it's always the starting point people want to use when determining who is at fault.
There are people who hit someone in the rear who challenge the fault attributed to them in court, and afaik when they lose it's always because the judge' believes they were at fault, not because of some rule that they *are* by definition at fault.
Such challenges are rare not because they are impossible to make, but because they are very very hard to make. Once the guy in front, or the cop, shows that the car was hit from behind, the burdern of proof is now on the guy who hit him to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that's it's not his fault. He can do that by saying that the guy in front changed lanes suddenly (and left no space, just as all the traffic stopped), but if that's not so, the guy in front will deny it, and the guy in back will lose (unless maybe the guy in front was drunk).

I've never heard of this. There are cases of comparitive negligence where where both are at fault and they'll estimate fault at 20/80, or 30/70, or 50:50.
Or are you sure you're not thinking of no-fault, rather than 50:50 fault? With no fault, each car is repaired by its own insureance company if the driver has collision insurance.
If one car has no collision and wasn't actually at fault and someone else was, I'm not sure, although Bryan's example shows that even in his no-fault state, no fault isn't absolute.
But if someone is killed, for example, the no-fault provisions only go up to a certain dollar amount, or I think it's only to property damage, and we're right back to traditional liability determination before there was no-fault.
I don't believe there is any state where points are given to someone who was not at fault, just because he was in an accident, especially if they can also affect insurance premiums. No-fault only extends to which insurance company pays for property damage, up to a dollar liimit.

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In

...
But, that IS the spirit of the law because it's common sense.
...

"Preponderance of the evidence" only applies in small claims courts when asking for damages. Most small claims courts don't allow large enough settlements to make using them of any advantage. These cases will go to courts, depending on their size and the insurance companies, where the old evidence rules apply. They are quite clear, by the way.
He can do that by saying

Never heard of that! What state is this and what country?

Not at all; boy, let's bring some reality in here!
HTH,
Twayne`

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On Fri, 24 Jun 2011 15:03:18 -0400, "Twayne"

That may be the only place you have come across it, but preponderance applies in all civil courts, all lawsuits by one person or corporation against another. It's not limited to small claims by any means. What would the standard of proof be if not preponderance in a contract case where Ford sues IBM for 50 million dollars? Or where you sued Ford for selling an unsafe car that injured you? Do you want it to be beyond a reasonable doubt?
I think, even if one wants an injunction, specific performance, or other non-money relief, the standard used to decide if you get one is preponderance.
In civil cases, all the evidence is added together and judged as a whole by that one standard, preponderance.
In criminal cases, proof of guilt must be beyond a reasonable doubt, but affirmative defenses have two possible standards, depending on what state one is in. I was wrong when I said it just a preonderance, it can be "clear and convincing". Both standards are lower than beyond a reasonable doubt.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_defense "Because an affirmative defense requires an assertion of facts beyond those claimed by the plaintiff, generally the party who offers an affirmative defense bears the burden of proof.[4] The standard of proof is typically lower than beyond a reasonable doubt. It can either be proved by clear and convincing evidence or by a preponderance of the evidence. In some cases or jurisdictions, however, the defense must only be asserted, and the prosecution has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defense is not applicable.[citation needed]" This third situation would be an even lower standard than the other two.
I'll have to think about the ramifications of this later: "An affirmative defense can be different from a negating defense. A negating defense is one which tends to negate an essential element of the state's case. An example might be a mistake of fact claim in a prosecution for intentional drug possession, where the defendant asserted that he or she mistakenly believed that the object possessed was an innocent substance like oregano. Because this defense simply shows that an essential element of the offense is not present, the defendant does not have any burden of persuasion with regards to a negating defense. At most the defendant has the burden of producing sufficient evidence to raise the issue." I guess this means that if the defendant has some evidence that raises the issue, and that causes reasonable doubt in the jury, that's all the defendant has to do. There is no particular standard of proof required.

What "old" evidence rules?

Not sure if you're asking me or the guy before me, but...
In any USA state,"in a two car accident most places these days will apply 50:50 at fault". There are a lot of states that use "comparitive negligence", and dividing the negligence equally is common, I"m sure, but they're not applying "50:50". They're applying comparative negligence which can be anywhere from 1:99 to 99:1.
"Contributory negligence" used to be a more common rule, that if one party A was mostly at fault and B was somewhat at fault, even just a little bit, B couldn't recover anything from A. I don't know how that rule got started, but most states have decided it's not fair.

I agree with you here.

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In

No I don't, but; that's how it is. That's also why you need lawyers in any federal court and most state courts.

Apples & oranges, neither. Ah! This is too much to bother reading; parroting a few things that seem to agree with you isn't reality.
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On Fri, 24 Jun 2011 18:54:04 -0400, "Twayne"

No it's not. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preponderance_of_the_evidence "Preponderance of the evidence Preponderance of the evidence, also known as balance of probabilities is the standard required in most civil cases.
The standard is met if the proposition is more likely to be true than not true. ....
Beyond reasonable doubt This is the highest standard used as the burden of proof in Anglo-American jurisprudence and typically only applies in criminal proceedings. ... The main reason that the high proof standard of reasonable doubt is used in criminal trials is that such proceedings can result in the deprivation of a defendant's liberty or even in his or her death. These outcomes are far more severe than in civil trials, in which money damages are the common remedy."

No, there are other reasons for that.

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,
Twayne, you've brought a sling shot to a gun fight. I can't believe that you continue to drone on and make an ass of yourself instead of learn from your mistakes. The simple fact is MM is right. In civil cases, the standard of proof is a preponderance of the evidence, not beyond a reasonable doubt.

Yeah, clearly it's exceeded your knowledge level.
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Of course, once again you are correct. And last time I checked laws also don't have spirits. It's what the law says and the appropriate case law that count.

I have no idea what he's talking about either.

Now that I have to disagree with. First, clearly this is not true when it comes to adjudicating motor vehicle tickets. And the only place where it would be close to true would be for damage cases that qualify in states that have no fault insurance laws. Even there, they are not saying the accident fault was 50-50. They are only saying by law that each drivers insurance company pays their own insured without regard to who was at fault. Meaning they want to reduce litigation and costs associated with it. Even then, it only applies to cases that meet certain standards of the injuries being non-severe. If you seriously injure someone, then it can be litigated the normal way, which means determining who is at fault.
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On Fri, 24 Jun 2011 16:56:47 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

As well you should. It was gobbledy gook. Looking back at my post, I can only guess at what happened, that I started a sentence and then put more stuff in almost at the front, and ended up saying, confusingly, the opposite of what I meant to say.
The most likely thing I was going to say was:
WRT what someone said a couple posts ago,"in a two car accident most places these days will apply 50:50 at fault": There are a lot of states that use "comparitive negligence", and dividing the negligence equally is common, I"m sure, but they're not applying "50:50". They're applying comparative negligence which can be anywhere from 1:99 to 99:1.

Yes, all true.

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Good to hear. You had me worried there for a bit :)
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Right. Even in 'no-fault' states, you will still get a ticket for being the cause of an accident.
Harry K
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Smitty Two wrote:

I doubt _very_ much that there's any of the US states which have the law of presumption (and while a fair fraction do, it is certainly also true that some don't) that it is written such that it is not rebuttable--iow, while there is a presumption that the striker is likely to be the guilty party, there is an escape clause if it can be shown that the strikee did something either negligent or illegal or had defective equipment (such as inoperable brakelights) and thereby was a causative factor in the incident.
I'd very much like to see the actual law or the State in which this is claimed to not be a part of such a law; frankly I just don't believe there is any place that would have such a law w/o the "escape clause" in it; just wouldn't get passed in that form.
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dpb wrote:

...
In short, the difficulty is probably in the interpretation of "presumuption". Whereas we're used to the "innocent until proved guilty", in this specific instance the _presumption_ is the fault is with the person who hit the rear of the other. In this case, to be exonerated, the onus is upon that individual to present sufficient evidence to counter the presumption. It's not that it is inevitably so but the burden of proof is shifted 180 degrees from the normal.
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The guy behind is still innocent until proven guilty, but, subject to possible defenses the defendant will present after the prosecution rests, that only means proving he hit the car in front of him. That usually isn't even disputed, but in a trial, they still have to put someone on the stand to say it, to prove it, the driver of the hit car, a witness, a cop who looked at both cars, maybe even insurance company reports. Doing at least one of these is usually easy. It will usually include testimony that the car in front wasn't backing up, etc.

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And conversely, if you have proof that the person who you rear-ended is at fault, then you will win the case. I'm still waiting to see the law that says it is always and automatically the fault of the driver who hits the other car.
Another good example of where the person in back would not be responsible. Let's say Mr. Smitty is travelling on a two lane rural road. There is a T intersection ahead on his right and that street has a stop sign, Mr. Smitty does not. There is oncoming traffic. The speed limit is 50 and that is what Smitty is doing. When Mr. Smitty is within 100 ft of the intersection, a clunking, smoking, car on it's last legs driven by a little old lady rolls through the stop sign making a right hand turn. Then, the little old lady can't or won't accelerate. Mr. Smitty slams on the brakes but winds up rear-ending the little old lady.
I think you and I would agree that the little old lady, not Mr. Smitty is at fault. And I'd say the physical evidence would be fairly strong to support that and that depending on what other evidence there was, Mr. Smitty would probably not get a ticket, the lady would, and he'd prevail in court for damages, depending on whatever other evidence there was.
According to Mr. Smitty, some law that is universal in all 50 states says it is actually his fault and he is responsible for damages to the little old lady's car.
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