Can the third car in a 3-car accident win a trial after pleading not guilty?

I was in an accident two weeks ago and I was the third car in line. I did hit the car in front of me.

The facts:

We were all going, maximum, 30 mph.

It was raining heavily, we were on a downgrade hill, and the car in front (A) stopped suddenly.

The car in front of me (B) tried to stop but slide into A.

I did not see A stop suddenly and only had time to react to B after I saw him collide with A. I attempted to stop but, because of the rain, skidded about 10 feet before colliding with B.

When the police showed up, both B and I were cited for ACDA (assured clear distance available) while A drove off with no consequence to their driving record.

At the arraignment, I pled not guilty because I didn't feel that there was any way I could have avoided the collision with B because of the weather, the downgrade, and unforeseen circumstances.

Now I'm being told that I don't have a viable defense. My trial is on Thursday morning and I need to know what I should do.

I can't afford to pay a citation + court costs right now because my car was completely totaled because of this accident. Please give me legal advice!

8 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You are responsible because you are suppose to be under control of your car at all times, even in the rain. You hit them because you were driving to close.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Sorry, you were not driving safely for the conditions. You hit somebody from behind that's pretty much automatic. The fact that you were going downhill in the rain means you should have left even more distance between you and the 2nd car than normal. You could have avoided the accident if you weren't driving so close to the car in those conditions.

  • 10 years ago

    Of course there was a way to avoid the accident. You could have had enough room in front of you to stop, or been driving slower.

    You (as a driver) are responsible to make sure you can stop if the car in front of you stops suddenly. That means in the rain you have to slow down and give more space in front of you. You will have a hard time getting out of this, I think...

    Source(s): 10+ years Law Enforcement
  • Lex
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    In most states as the last car in line you are automatically liable for damage to the car in front of you. All the reasons you list are well and good and but the fact is that you are supposed to be driving a safe distance from the car in front of you to anticipate all these things and stop without a collision occurring. Do you not have car insurance? This is what you pay them for, to settle these things for you. I'd call them immediately and ask them to appear on your behalf.

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  • 10 years ago

    "Can the third car in a 3-car accident win a trial after pleading not guilty?" Not very likely. You failed to maintain a proper following distance, in short you were tailgating. When the road is wet and you are going down hill you need to increase your following distance from the normal 2 second rule.

  • 10 years ago

    The "way for you to avoid the accident" was to be driving more slowly and to leave more distance. If you couldn't stop in time, then you were not driving safely FOR THE CONDITIONS.

    What you've heard is correct. You don't have a viable defense. If you were driving safely, you would have been able to stop in time. If you were not able to stop in time, then you weren't driving safely. Period.

  • 10 years ago


    You have no defense. You will end up paying for damage to car b. Did you not have insurance? If you did you can change your case to 'guilty' and move on. If you do not have insurance your will have a judgement entered against you, and you will be liable to driver b.


  • WRG
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Both you and B are guilty. You will be found guilty when you take it to court. The law is that you must keep enough space to stop based on the conditions. You admit that you didn't do this.

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