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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    12

    Default Rear ending on an on ramp, failure control speed

    In TEXAS:

    We were gearing up to merge with traffic on the freeway, we were entering the on ramp, when we noticed a truck in front of us was NOT speeding up to MERGE but instead was at a STOP "waiting for a spot". (no brake lights though).
    We weren't able to stop in time to avoid him, rear ended him, shot across 3 lanes of traffic on the freeway, came to a stop by the median and were hit lightly by another truck. 3 car accident.
    WE got the failure to control speed citation.
    (We are going to take the ticket to a lawyer to have it taken care of....But I've been reading in some other threads about talking with the county clerk first? Suggestions in this??)

    However-- Our truck is totaled, and we had liability insurance only. Also, we strongly feel the truck in front of us should be partially to blame for being stopped in a moving lane of traffic. He was in no way actively merging.
    Can we hire a lawyer to go after THAT guy to help pay for our truck, since THAT guy was stopped where he shouldn't have been? Or are we out of luck?
    Also, we don't know what the police report says, should we get a copy of it? We know rear endings tend to not go so well for the rear-endER (us, in this case) but when does the other party have any fault?

    Thanks so much, I'd appreciate any response!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,321

    Default Re: Rear ending on an on ramp, failure control speed

    Insurance companies and civil courts often use different criteria than law enforcement, and can apply percentages to assigned fault. Law enforcement generally is able to assign fault to only one party along with contributing or associated factors.

    In your case, since you were the moving vehicle, you will almost certainly be the party most at fault in the collision report. The law generally requires that you travel as a speed and distance from traffic sufficient for you to stop in the event of an obstruction in the road (like a stopped truck).

    Yes, you should get a copy of the report.

    Whether you should get an attorney to sue someone is up to you. You might want to see what the report says, first. Then consult with a few attorneys and see if you have a chance of prevailing. You may be told you have no case.

    Also check with your insurance company to see how THEY see fault in the matter. That may give you a clue as to the direction of the direction of the civil winds.

    - Carl
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Rear ending on an on ramp, failure control speed

    I assume that there was a yield sign at the top of the ramp at the entrance to the freeway. If so, the driver of the truck you hit was simply complying with the law, which in Texas reads in part:
    544.010. STOP SIGNS AND YIELD SIGNS.
    (b) If safety requires, the operator of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall stop as provided by Subsection (c).
    (c) An operator required to stop by this section shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection. In the absence of a crosswalk, the operator shall stop at a clearly marked stop line. In the absence of a stop line, the operator shall stop at the place nearest the intersecting roadway where the operator has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway.
    You would be hard-pressed to sue someone when they were obeying the letter of the law. And it's that driver's opinion as to whether or not "safety" required him to stop.

    In WA State it's even worse. Our law is almost identical to Texas law, except we have one little addition:
    PROVIDED, That if such a driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection or junction of roadways, after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of the driver's failure to yield right of way.
    So you can see that in WA, if you don't stop at a yield sign, and you're subsequently involved in an accident -- it's ALWAYS your fault.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Rear ending on an on ramp, failure control speed

    It was a merge lane/on-ramp. No yield sign!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Rear ending on an on ramp, failure control speed

    Are you referring to one of those entrance ramps that becomes it's own lane and doesn't merge into the existing lanes?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Rear ending on an on ramp, failure control speed

    Quote Quoting blewis
    Are you referring to one of those entrance ramps that becomes it's own lane and doesn't merge into the existing lanes?
    No, it's an OLD on ramp that merges DIRECTLY into a freeway lane. You do NOT get your own lane at all. But again, no yield sign.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    663

    Default Re: Rear ending on an on ramp, failure control speed

    Have your attorney look into city's ordinaces about having a Yeild/Merge sign posted. Possibility it was the city's/county's/state's fault for not having a sign posted within so many feet from that area.

    You may want to study:
    http://www.findlaw.com/11stategov/tx/laws.html

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    663

    Default Re: Rear ending on an on ramp, failure control speed


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