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  1. #1
    dijudgment is offline Junior Member
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    Rear-end collision. Who's responsible and what should i do?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    Michigan.

    An ambulance turned it's siren on at the last minute before attempting to cross an intersection. The car in front of me panicked and slammed the brakes. I was at least two car lengths before the collision but didn't notice that he had stopped until there wasn't enough time to stop. So I ended up rear-ending him. His truck is fine but my entire front end is totaled. He says that it's his fault but the only insurance that I have is no-fault. So my question is who is at fault and what should I do?
  2. #2
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dijudgment View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    Michigan.

    An ambulance turned it's siren on at the last minute before attempting to cross an intersection. The car in front of me panicked and slammed the brakes. I was at least two car lengths before the collision but didn't notice that he had stopped until there wasn't enough time to stop. So I ended up rear-ending him. His truck is fine but my entire front end is totaled. He says that it's his fault but the only insurance that I have is no-fault. So my question is who is at fault and what should I do?
    You are 100% at fault for not maintaining a safe following distance.
  3. #3
    dijudgment is offline Junior Member
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    I was at a safe following distance. two car lengths going 35mph is appro. 2 seconds behind the driver. I was more than two lengths before the siren. And we were both going the same speed. Because I was trying to determine where the noise was coming from I slowed down to look at my sideview mirror. To be honest, I'm not sure how far I was when he stopped exactly. All I know is that when I glimpsed his brake lights I was about two carlengths or so away.
  4. #4
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dijudgment View Post
    I was at a safe following distance.
    If you WERE at a safe distance, you wouldn't have had an accident. My prior answer stands.
  5. #5
    dijudgment is offline Junior Member
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    Um yes it would. Like i said I was searching for the ambulance because it's siren went off. So even if I was 8 seconds away it would still take three for me to search my side, rear, and of course look in front. And since the siren was loud it meant I would have to search within a 50 yard radius. Not all people can scope an entire scene in half a second.
  6. #6
    davew128 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dijudgment View Post
    Um yes it would. Like i said I was searching for the ambulance because it's siren went off. So even if I was 8 seconds away it would still take three for me to search my side, rear, and of course look in front. And since the siren was loud it meant I would have to search within a 50 yard radius. Not all people can scope an entire scene in half a second.
    Which means exactly what with regards to you rear ending the guy? You either were negligent in not paying attention to the vehicle in front of you or you were travelling too closely behind. I tend to go with the former here because if you HAD BEEN paying attention to him it would have been enough time to stop. Either way you're responsible.
  7. #7
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dijudgment View Post
    Um yes it would. Like i said I was searching for the ambulance because it's siren went off. So even if I was 8 seconds away it would still take three for me to search my side, rear, and of course look in front. And since the siren was loud it meant I would have to search within a 50 yard radius. Not all people can scope an entire scene in half a second.
    If you can't, then you need to allow more room ahead of you.

    BY DEFINITION, if you were at a safe following distance, then you would NOT have hit the guy in front of you. Please take a driver safety course.
  8. #8
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    regardless, Michigan places fault for an accident such as yours on the person in your position unless there are some very unusual circumstances. Yours would not be one of those very unusual circumstances.


    so, anyway, since you are in Michigan;

    your insurance, if you have collision, will pay for your vehicle. If you do not have collision, it is all out of your pocket.

    as to the other guy; you are responsible for up to $500 of damages that are not covered by his insurance (generally, his deductable will eat this up).

    other than that, unless there was some severe injury on his part, that is the end of things.

    It would not matter if it was his fault or not though really though. If it were his fault, you would be entitled to that same $500 that he is in this situation.

    You did have insurance, right? Because if you didn't, things really change drastically.
  9. #9
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Maintaining a safe following distance is only half the equation. You also have to WATCH WHERE YOU ARE GOING so you see when the person in front of you slams on his brakes. Sometime between him braking and you hitting him, the following distance became shorter very quickly, and you didn't notice. Hence, your fault.

    But, in Michigan, your liability is minimal anyway because of the whacky no-fault laws. You have insurance, right?
  10. #10
    InsaneJane is offline Member
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    That's why they call them accidents. The driver of a vehicle holds the resonsibility to maintain control of that vehicle. The vehicle in front of you stopped and you didn't stop in time. It would be different if that vehicle pulled out in front of you, stopped and you didn't have the needed time and distance to stop.
    I feel for you, and fortunately the driver that you hit also did. But realize that if a small child ran out in front of that truck, the driver would have had to slam on the breaks. A few feet more distance and keeping your eyes in front would have made all the diference in the world.
    Step back and learn from this. And be thankful that nobody was hurt.

    Good luck to you.
  11. #11
    davew128 is offline Senior Member
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    [QUOTE=InsaneJane;2352433]It would be different if that vehicle pulled out in front of you, stopped and you didn't have the needed time and distance to stop.QUOTE]FWIW, this is similar to what happened to me in college. Elderly couple pulls out of a restaurant parking lot directly into the passing lane on a 4 lane divided highway (at typical elderly driving speeds) and then bitches that I was speeding when I predictably rear ended them moments later.
  12. #12
    Banned_Princess is offline Senior Member
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    Its totally your fult. 100%. Your collision should cover it, unless you arent properly insured. which by your statement
    "only insurance that I have is no-fault"
    I think you mean liability only.

    Sorry you are paying out of pocket.

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