No, the question at hand is those locales w/ the _presumption_ of fault
law...in those cases the guilt/cause is assigned and only if that is
able to be rebutted successfully will the charge be cleared.
The only point I was really making is that as opposed to the earlier
poster's claim that that was true irregardless of circumstances that
afaik every presumptive law has the possibility that rebuttal is
possible. The other poster was claiming there wasn't even that possibility.
They have to prove both that the suspect did it, and that it was
murder. For example, the autopsy is supposed to say if he died
because of whatever the accused did, or if maybe he died of a stroke
or heart attack 2 seconds earlier.
Similarly they have to prove more than one thing when trying someone
for hitting a car from behind. I guess, I'm almost sure, that the
prosecution doesn't have to address in advance possible excuses**,
like "She stopped short on purpose", but if it doesn't, then after the
defendant raises the defense, the prosecution can put on rebuttal
evidence to disprove it.
**Otherwise trials would be longer than neceesaray, if the prosecution
had to rebut in advance every possible defense the accused could
On Thu, 23 Jun 2011 06:44:56 -0700 (PDT), " email@example.com"
He gets charged with failing to yeild or unsafe lane change - and
occaisionally dangerous or careless driving. Assuming there are
witnesses. You, as the rearmost driver, will often also be CHARGED -
but often not convicted. - for following too close.
That's where credible witnesses come in.
Having learned to drive in NYC (where as a young, aggressive driver we
used to screw with the cabbies in Manhattan - that'll teach you some
cool maneuvers!) I still employ this technique:
If I am forced to brake hard to avoid hitting a car in front of me, I
glance up at the rearview mirror to see what's going on behind me. If
need be, and *if possible* I release the brake momentarily to try and
extend the distance between me and the car behind me - as long as I
can still avoid hitting the car in front. Sometimes it's possible and
sometimes I just hope the driver behind me can stop.
It's not that big a deal where I live now, but I can say without
question that I avoided getting rear-end in NYC more than once by
using this technique. One time the driver behind me still wasn't going
to be able to stop in time, but I gave him just enough room to swerve
to the left and go by me. That "foot or 2" you left between you and
the car in front of you was probably all the guy behind me needed to
The guy at the back of the chain is ALWAYS at fault. Occaisionally in
that kind of a situation, when it can be proved beyond reasonable
doubt that a car farthur up the line had also collided with a car in
front of him BEFORE being rear-ended, the other driver can also be
charged and convicted.
On Thu, 23 Jun 2011 19:35:01 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
As to the other driver, to find him guilty of something, yes you need
evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.
But defenses, like for the driver in back, don't have to be proved
beyond a reasonsable doubt, only to a preponderance of the evidence
iirc. Because if the preponderance of evidence is that his defense
is true, then by logic, he can't be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If his defense is likely true, there must be reasonable doubt. And
there is a statute in most states that codifies this.
Minnesota is a no-fault state, so fault is rarely assigned in most
traffic accidents. It's that way because of all the icy weather
I was rear-ended by a cell-phoner and learned about this then. My
insurance did recover all costs from the other company, including my
Because he can't prove what happened. But if somehow he could, by an
admission, an admission by an accomplice**, or maybe notes in the car,
or that there was a string of such "accidents", he woudln't be guilty
**The driver who stopped short on purpose can't be found guilty on the
uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice, but accomplice testimony is
still evidence. The driver who hit her probably woudn't even be
charged, and would win a lawsuit.
On Thu, 23 Jun 2011 03:47:14 -0700 (PDT), " email@example.com"
On dry pavement in anything other than a panic stop, ABS has
virtually (and litterally) no effect. All 4 wheels get full pressure -
immediately - when the brakes are applied and unless one wheel locks,
no pressure reduction occurs.
HOWEVER - A LOT of cars over the last 15 or so years, since ABS has
become standard, also have substandard brakes. The thinking appears to
be: "why make brakes that CAN skid the wheels if we then need to add
complexity to make sure they CAN NOT".
In reality, it has more to do with making everything as light as
possible - which means less brake.
The last couple of years, bigger brakes - to go along with, and look
mean when installed in -the 18 and 20 inch rims, are coming back.
Yeah, but . . .
An unsafe lane change, IF IT CAN BE PROVED, will shift the blame to the
party making the unsafe change. It happens all the time on the DC Capital
Beltway (people cutting in front of other people, reducing their "safe
stopping distance.") If you're unlucky enough to do it in front of a cop,
(on or off-duty) you'll get a ticket. If you do it in front of a vehicle
with a camera (more and more commercials vehicles have dashcams) you'll be
blamed. Any truck driver on the Beltway can tell you how often cars will
zip in front of them never giving a thought how much they've shortened the
trucker's "safe following distance" or how much more room a truck needs to
stop quickly. So if you look at the cabs of newer trucks you'll see more
and more cameras because of people who make unsafe lane changes. Here in
the DC area people also cross solid lines to make lane changes, driving on
the shoulders or in other areas where lane changes are not allowed.
A rear-ending of someone who has just gotten on the highway from the
shoulder is NOT considered the fault of the driver hitting the merging car
in the rear. When rejoining moving traffic from the shoulder, almost
anything "bad" that happens as a result of that merge is the fault of the
driver who is NOT on the main roadway. The problem most people have is that
it's often impossible without witnesses or video to prove that the other
driver is at fault. That's because of the strong presumption, as you've
noted, of everyone to believe if you're struck from behind, it's the
striking driver's fault
That's one of the reasons I picked up a very nice electronic color dashcam
from Ebay that records up to several hours in ten minute segments, erasing
the oldest stuff first when the memory card is full. I installed mine
because I "T-boned" a car full of students who had run a red light. I
remember being bathed in the green of the traffic light at the moment of
impact, thinking "I'm going to die now and I had the green light!!!" It was
a serious impact - I was travelling at about 50MPH and there were extensive
injuries to the front seat passenger where my car hit.
Both cars were totaled and those sonovabitch students lied about what
happened - I even HEARD the driver saying "this is my third accident -
you've GOT to say it wasn't my fault or my folks will take the car away from
me." I still fume thinking about it. Anyway, that's when I decided I
needed a dashcam, just like the cops. Not only would it have shown who was
in the right in that crash, despite four people conspiring to lie, it would
show when someone did an unsafe lane change into the space in front of my
car. If it showed me in the wrong, well, those SD cards are SO tiny it
might just disappear!
So far, I've captured some pretty amazing "cut ins" on "film" (SD card,
actually) but I have not been in any accidents while driving with the cams
in place. On the DC Beltway during rush hour it is IMPOSSIBLE to maintain a
safe following distance. When bozos see that huge, empty space they rush to
get to it. If I am traveling in the inner two of four lanes, sometimes
people from both adjoining lanes will dive for the same spot.
The camera I got was under $100 from Ebay. It records in an endless loop,
plugs into the auxiliary lighter socket, comes on when the car is started
and records for 1 minute after the car is turned off via a built in
rechargeable lithium cell. Takes a standard SD card - I use a 1GB card
because in reality, in a crash you'll only need about 30 seconds of the
pre-impact video to prove who was at fault. The only real negative about
the cam is that the date is GOD AWFUL difficult to set and if it sits too
long without being driven, the internal battery dies and the unit needs to
be hooked up to a PC to set the clock with a special batch file that's not
correctly specified in the manual.
I moved that camera to my 20 year old Honda and installed a four-camera
system in my van because it's got $25K worth of handicapped equipment and a
single dash cam is not enough for "full protection." That takes a front,
rear and two side view cams and a solid state quad recorder. Instead of
using a "not likely to survive a hard impact hard disk, I got a 16GB CF card
with an IDE adapter so there are no delicate moving parts to fail in a
crash. That rig cost $300 for everything but I figure that's still less
than my deductible.
Most importantly, if something like the "T-bone" crash ever happens again,
I'll let those muthafu&kers lie their asses off to the cops before I reveal
I have video of the crash so I can totally discredit them. It was a bitter
pill to swallow to learn that if witnesses conspire to lie against the lone
driver of the other car, judges and adjusters will believe them in a
heartbeat. Never again! I ended up with a surcharge for three years
because I was considered "at fault" by the insurance company. Sometimes,
when I think about it, it makes me angry enough to wish I had killed the
whole carload of lying little bastards. If there's anything I hate it's
being "lied on" and blamed for something someone else did.
If you have any doubts about unsafe lane changes "trumping" the *almost*
universal assumption that if you hit a car from behind then you're at fault,
call your local State Troopers. They are usually well-informed about
highway traffic rules.
points out a few other exceptions to the "hit from behind - the other
driver's fault" rule"
Exceptions to Rear-End Auto Accidents
There may be times when the driver who rear-ended you is not at fault or at
least is not completely at fault. It is possible that you were partly a
fault for the accident. Examples of where you could be partially at fault
include the following:
a.. Your brake or tail lights don't work, especially if it is dark out
b.. Your car has mechanical problems but you fail to move it off the road
On Thu, 23 Jun 2011 23:36:12 -0400, "Robert Green"
I believe it 100%. Much of this is, I think, because on the DC
Beltway, drivers don't let other drivers in. When I first got to
Baltimore from NYC, after a couple years of occasionsl drives on
i495, I noticed this.
In NYC they always let you in for 2 reasons. A) there is a social
contract that almost everyone obeys, because if people weren't nice to
each other, traffic would be far worse. B) they know that even if
they don't let you in, you're coming in anyhow, even if there are only
4 inches in front of your car and behind it. I've done that many
times. And I'll do it in DC too if I need to be in a particular lane
for an exit or something. It doesn't even scare me anymore.
Yes, A and B sort of contradict each other, but maybe not.
I'm no longer sure about Baltimore, but drivers here aren't that good.
At a four-way stop, they are always waiting for the other guy, slowing
things down. And when they do move at a 4-way stop, they go, N, W, S
then E. Not N and S at the same time, then W and E. They're so
nice, but it slows things down and drives me crazy.
At first I didn't understand or believe you, but since your first
paragraph was good, I read this two more times. Yes, I may have even
known this. "Failure to yield" it's called when someone merges from a
shoulder or ramp such that he causes or could cause an accident. (or
such that he causes another driver to change speed, maybe it says.)
"Could cause", that is, the other driver might brake quickly enough to
avoid the accident, but the driver who fails to yield can still get a
So what happened? I guess they won. Did your insurance pay
Wouldn't this make you as bad as they were if you actually did this?
(I"m not one who thinks considering it makes you as bad as they are.
It might only make you normal.)
What brand is it? It's problems are bad, but it's cheap and one can't
expect everything for cheap. And maybe they'll make it easiser to
set the time. Plus the correct date and time might not be essential
if it's identifiable as the crash under discussion. (But you should
still set the time when it's wrong. The simpler your evidence the
I thought about brake lights yesterday, but I forgot about when it's
I disable the ABS on my truck in the winter because on icy roads it
prevents you from stopping *at all*. (not just in a truck, they all
do that) When I step on the brakes, I want to stop dammit, keeping the
truck going in a straight line is of much less importance.
The defendant was well dressed (turtleneck and jacket), well spoken,
good-looking, mature but not old-looking, but still an idiot.
They showed an aerial photgraph and the oncoming road had a bend just
30 feet from the intersection, so she said she had to stop IN the
intersection when she saw a car coming. He puffed that he had an SUV
high up with a good view and he could see everything, but didn't seem
to notice that her car was shorter.
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