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hit another car after being hit by a car

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What is the name of your state? New York

On 2/15/00, I was driving on a highway in driving lane (right lane) when suddenly some car in the passing lane (left) hit me from behind. The road was curved to the left and sloping downward so after being hit, my car was throwing into spinning despite my continuouse effort to brake the car and hold onto the wheel. My car went into the median, made a 360 rotation, and then went into the opposite traffic, being hit by another car in the opposite traffice. We both went into the side rail.

EMS and the police came. One of the police asked me if I had changed the lanes. I told her no. The police then asked me about my date of birth. Because my English isn't so great and I was so seriously injuried, the police didn't talk to me further and I (and the driver of the car from the opposite traffic) was sent to a nearby emergency room,. But later, I learned that the officer put on the report that I had changed the lanes causing the car in the passing lane to hit me from behind, with no mention of my statment of the contrary. After trying to contact the officer 7 or 8 times, the officer said that she had made the report after listening to a witness, and if there was a discrepency, we should send in a copy to the DMV within 10 days. Which I did (and I also send a copy of what happened to my insurance company), but got no answer. And after I received the police report, there was nothing I could do, except looking for a laywer.

I talked to a laywer and he told me not to worry about the police report and we were going to sue the car that hit me in the first place. But after about one year and I had stopped going to the doctors because the treatment was useless, the laywer said that he didn't want the case anymore. Then we got a second lawyer who found the witness that had told the officer about me changing lanes. This time, the witness said that there was another car (who never stopped) that tried to cut in front of me without noticing casuing me to brake, and in doing so sliding into the passing lane being hit from behind by the car in front of her (the witness).

After hearing this statement, the laywer refused to go on any further because he didn't think we had a chance. But I have always been a very careful driver and I am very sure that I didn't change the lanes and that there was no car cutting in front of me. But we had no evidence and this whole process was emotional draining so I gave up.

A few days ago (after alomst 4 years), I was served with a Summons and Verified Complaint to the Supreme Court by the driver of the car in the opposite traffic, suing me for negligence and failure to control my veichle in causing him permenant damages, physical and emotional, lost wages and jobs, etc.

I am so emotional distressed and I don't know what to do. Am I liable to the car in opposite traffic? If so, how much? Does my liability depends on they believe my account of what happened or the police report or even witness second account?

Is there anything else I can do in this case?



Senior Member
Though it may appear (from your post) that you have some liability due to the witness statement, you need to contact YOUR insurance carrier about the lawsuit.
They will provide a defense for you as part of your coverage.
You DID have insurance, didn't you???


The witness's statement seems pretty logical. How else could he in the left lane have rear-ended you in the right? Either you were in his lane or he was in yours. With a witness who speaks sense and had a birdseye view (being the car behind the one that hit you), you're going to have to come up with something better than, I was on the right and "suddenly some car in the passing lane hit me from behind."


Yes, i do have insurance.

Sorry, maybe I did not make it clear. I was hit on the rear-LEFT side by the car in the left lane. And it just didn't seem likely that the witness could have seen if some was cutting in front me or not since there was only lanes and the wintess would have see past the car that hit me, who by the way never mentioned anyone cutting. Also, besides the rear-left end damage, there were also damages to the passanger side (by the car in the opposite traffic), to the front (by the guiderail), and to the DRIVER side! Isn't it also possible that the witness might have only seen part of what happened? The witness might have seen me went into the left after I have already been rear-ended on the left (thereby losing control in the curve), then saw the car in left hit me.


Senior Member
Okay, you have to understand this.....
It is not required for you to understand whether it "didn't seem likely that the witness could have seen if some was cutting in front me or not".

There is a witness, who presumably is unbiased. You are obviously biased, as is the other driver.

The independent witness's statement is going to be KEY to any determination of liability, no matter what you think or feel.

At this point, you have been sued. That is your ONLY concern. Do as I suggested and contact YOUR insurance carrier at the time of the accident. Let them handle it.


Senior Member
"Isn't another concern getting another lawyer?"
*** In my opinion, no. Reason: It is clear (at least to me) that the writer has a VERY weak case (if any case at all) against the other driver. The witness pretty much kills any case for damages by the writer.
Remember, the witness statement says the writer, by another driver who left, was forced "to brake, and in doing so sliding into the passing lane being hit from behind by the car in front of her (the witness)."
With that, the writer was at fault for not remaining in her lane or not maintaining a safe distance (or several other 'causes').

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