What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California
I will try to put it as simply as I can. I was involved in an auto-accident in which I rear-ended one of the parties involved. What had happened was the at-fault party made an unsafe lane change resulting in me rear-ending her and her rear ending the car in front of her. I at the time did not have car insurance because I had just bought my car and was in the process of getting it registered. I did however have a temporary moving permit which made it legal for me to drive without registration or insurance. The police report determined the person at fault to be the car I rear-ended because she was in violation of VC 21658. She is now trying to sue me in a small claims court because her car was totaled and I didn't have insurance.
I would like to know if she has any solid grounds for suing me or will the judge base the decision off of the police report? I'm also wondering if I did have insurance would my insurance have fought her claims or is she in the right to a settlement? A lot of people told me that CA law states that if you rear-end someone you're automatically at fault but in this case there was no way to avoid rear-ending her car because she did an unsafe lane change.
A little more detail about the accident: I was driving within a safe distance between me and the car in front of me when this lady decided to merge in front of me at a high speed. Unfortunately for her we were nearing an intersection and the light had turned red so she had to break really aggressively which left me no room to break safely as she had constricted the space between our cars considerably.
I would like to know how this will go for me and whether or not I should worry. She is asking for over $5000 for damages to her car which is barely worth under $1000. Also any advice on how to present my side of the story to the judge would be immensely appreciated.