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Arresto Menor
Hello Everyone,

At around 7:30 in the morning of December 28, 2015 we were driving on SLEX to Muntinlupa at a speed of 60-65 kph. We have decided to change lane using the overtaking lane with proper signaling and when we were at a complete transfer of lane we were surprised when an ISUZU MUX abruptly stopped in front of us, I stepped hard on my brakes but the braking action could not cope with the inertia and failed to gain sufficient traction. As a consequence, I hit the rear end of the ISUZU MUX.

The argument of MUX driver was that there are two other vehicles in front of him that abruptly stopped, hence, forced him to stop as well. Though all of us in my car didn't see any. He said that those vehicles ran away.

The investigating police, who based the investigations on our statements (third party and myself) decided that I am at fault since I am the one who hit the ISUZU MUX at the back. As per his explanation, this was always the case on a rear-end collision cases.

Can the third party be held liable on this case considering that (1) we didn't see any vehicle in front of him, contrary to his claim, (2) he was on the overtaking lane and cars passing that lane are expected to be faster, (3) though my insurance will cover the repair, I want the MUX driver to pay for the participation fee of my repair. I have discussed this request with the MUX driver and I didn't see any sign of agreement though they didn't say No.

Can I pursue a case in court? I know, I always can, but is it worth it? I strongly feel that I am not at fault, and if the current trend is to always blame the accident to the car at the back end, then I guess I can be the exemption on that.

I would certainly appreciate your legal opinion.

Thank you,

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Arresto Menor

My vehicle is the jeep. Note that the Isuzu is on the wrong side of the double yellow line. The multicab forced me into the Isuzu, which was overtaking me illegally. The traffic enforcer initially determined that the collision was totally my fault. His reasoning? Both the multicab's bumper and the Isuzu's bumper were ahead of my bumper. (No such rule exists in the Drivers Manual.) He refused to look at clear evidence that the Isuzu was illegally passing me. Eventually he released us all, with no citations issued. Maybe he finally realized that his initial judgment was wrong. My evidence was concrete, yours is not. I suggest you settle and not risk litigation. I'm not a lawyer.

Last edited by jaxt on Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:32 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added "I'm not a lawyer.")

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Arresto Menor
Thanks, Jaxt!

There's nothing to settle. I am the one "planning" to sue actually. I thought it's not fair that the MUX do not pay (at least half of the repair cost) for the damages that this incident has caused my vehicle because of his negligence. I just can't accept the fact that because I am at the rear-end, I am automatically at fault. My principle can't just understand.

Still, the question is:
Can I sue on the premise that the accident/damage on my vehicle happened because of the MUX dirver's negligence?

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Reclusion Perpetua
I don't know Philippine law concerning this but in the OTHER countries I know of the main rule is the one hiting from behind is faulting, because drivers are suppoused to drive far enough behind to manage to stop if the one in front stop suddenly. An exception rule is if the one in front change lane not careful enough.

An exception" rule" in the Philippines is it's allways the foreigner's fault haha

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Arresto Menor
In my opinion, your case is weak unless you have a dash cam to prove your claim. Lunkan is correct. You are supposed to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you to accomodate sudden stops. Thus, the rule of thumb in rear end collision is that the vehicle at the back is at fault. Unless you are equipped with enough evidence to overcome this presumption, then I guess litigation will just be a waste of time and money for you.

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