My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Washington
I was in an accident involving a another car that rear ended me on Hwy 16 in Kitsap County, Washington State. Only witnesses were me alone in my car and he and his presumed to be wife. He slammed on his brakes several times before the accident when I was behind him. I honked the horn at him for about 20 seconds two separate times. He then sped off tailgating other cars all the way until he was out of sight. I then ended up catching up to him a few minutes later and passed him on a 2 lane highway road with a 60 mph posted speed limit. We were both going between 60-65 mph. He flipped me off several times throughout this incident. He got right up on the butt end of the car in the left lane that was in front of him because he saw me approaching in the right lane. I ended up passing him and moving into the left lane in front of him. He got behind me and I tried to keep him behind me by staying in front of him, as a result we both were changing lanes fast, but he was swerving all over the place. I was tapping my brakes just like he had done to me and was staying in front of him as he was tailgating me so close I couldn't even see the hood of his car in my rearview mirror. He ended up running into my back left bumper (he was driving a Mazda 3) and we both slowed down and pulled over, and got out of our cars. He came aggressively up to me while I stood by my right front tire as I said "Hey, what are you doin man?" He got right in my face and started jawing at me but backed off fairly quickly. His wife had her cellphone out at some point and was videoing us. Then we called the cops and got in our respective cars and waited for the cops to show up. The cop ended up giving me a citation for Negligent Driving 2nd Degree and said he cited him as well.
I'm wondering how I got cited when he ran into me, I always thought if you got hit from behind it is the other drivers fault. I asked the cop this and he said based on witness statements I'm citing you both and you both are at fault.
I want to go to court to contest this but I'm not sure if it's worth it or not. I'm going to file a claim with my insurance company for my crunched back left rear bumper, but I'm concerned about insurance rates and the ticket cost is $553. I'm debating whether or not I should hire a lawyer.
Any advice would be appreciated on who is at fault when I got rear ended, even if I was purposely changing lanes to not let him by. I don't see how I'm at fault, I was even slightly concerned what he might do when he got back in front of me.
Anybody got any advice for me?