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If you get hit from behind while driving an automobile, the law assumes that the individual who slammed into you was "negligent," and responsible for any injuries and damage you have incurred, unless a "non-negligent explanation for the collision" can be supplied.

In Somers v. Condlin , the defendant conceded he hadn't been paying attention to what was happening ahead of him and was also unable to offer any evidence that the plaintiff -- the driver with whom he collided -- had caused the accident "by stopping suddenly or by veering in front" of him.

Without proof of "comparative fault," the Bronx County Supreme Court and the Appellate Division, First Department, granted relief in the plaintiff's favor.

So much for bringing up the rear.