I have seen some really good advice on this forum and am really hoping you guys can be of some assistance.
Last Friday I was involved in a 3 vehicle collision. We were travelling up a big hill with traffic lights at the top of the hill but I could not see them due to traffic in front. The lady in the front(vehicle A) had to stop abruptly for the red light. The lady following her (Vehicle B) drove into her at roughly 60 km/hr only touching the brake for a fraction of a second before colliding and coming to a complete stop. I (Vehicle C)slammed on my brakes and slid into her(Vehicle B) rear. Her skid marks were less then 2 feet. I understand that in insurances eyes i am 100% liable for the damage to my vehicle and to the middle vans rear, i can deal with an at fault accident on my insurance but not a careless driving charge..
I was charged with careless driving. The officer took statements from all three drivers involved.
I did not see any pictures taken or measurements taken at the scene before we were told to leave the scene.
I have the whole incident on dashcam, I was definately not following too close. Had she not hit "a brick wall" coming to an immediate stop I would have had time to stop.
"The driver of a motor vehicle or street car shall not follow another vehicle or street car more closely than is reasonable and prudent having due regard for the speed of the vehicle and the traffic on and the conditions of the highway."
You never expect that a car in front if going to hit a "brick wall" and stop immediately without warning.
Later that evening i received a phone call from the officer saying i should take the charge to trial and he would have it lessened to failure to turn out left to avoid accident. (if i were to turn out left i would be driving into oncoming traffic."
On the ticket for careless driving it says witnesses-no collison-no.
Not sure what that collision box means but there was indeed a collision and there should be witnesses as he had someone pulled over behind where the accident happened. I am thinking the lady was looking out her side window when passing the cop and thats why she did not see the first vehicle stop.
I have decided to take the charge to trial but i dont think it should be reduced. I think it should be dropped completely as the lady in front of me was charged with careless driving and her negligence is what cause the initial accident. I do have a paralegal looking into the video at the moment but was hoping to get some advice here.
Any help or advice would really help me out and lower my stress levels.
A lot of times the police will charge somebody with careless (which they can't prove) and then the prosecutor will offer reduced plea which many will take thinking they got a deal. But the standard on the prosecution is very high to prove careless driving so there is also a good chance of winning IF it really was the wrong charge.
This site has a couple cases you can download and read that illustrate the point:
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++