Who is responsible for paying for damages and injuries related to a three-car accident? What happens when three automobiles are involved in an automobile accident, and every driver denies liability?
Determining who is responsible for an automobile accident can be easy if the circumstances of the accident are straightforward. Automobile accidents involving three motor vehicles can feature multiple victims. Sometimes all three drivers are responsible for an automobile accident involving three motor vehicles.
Multi-vehicle crashes are dangerous events. These types of crashes occur during lane changes and rear-end collisions. Intersection collisions also commonly involve more than two motor vehicles. The more automobiles involved in these crashes, the more likely it is that serious bodily injury or death will occur.
Sometimes it is difficult to determine which vehicle experienced the most property damage. Emergency personnel may not be able to reach injured drivers, and gas leaks may cause explosions and fires. These factors can make it difficult to determine liability in an automobile accident involving three motor vehicles.
Multi-car accidents are more dangerous than other accidents because many more individuals can suffer injury due to the accident. If an accident occurs on a freeway or interstate, then the property damages caused by the crash can be extreme.
Hire a car accident attorney near you if you are in a multi-car accident. Multiple drivers, insurance companies, and claims can all get caught up in the same car accident case. You will need a lawyer to sort out fault and the various insurance claims, then ensure that none of them try to cheat you out of the compensation you deserve.
The First Car That Causes A Rear-End Collision Is Typically At Fault
Rear automobiles can keep a distance from other automobiles, and courts often find that the first automobile to collide with another motor vehicle to be at fault. An insurance company determines liability in a multi-car accident. They base this liability on the cause of the automobile accident and which parties contributed to the accident.
A driver who strikes another car on the rear is likely to put the other automobiles in motion. The driver in this rear position is likely to bear fault for the multi-car automobile accident. This rear driver will likely bear responsibility for the injuries and damages suffered by the other two motor vehicle drivers.
If the middle driver followed the car in front of him or her, then the middle driver may also share the responsibility for the collision with the driver in the rear. The driver in the front position may bear responsibility for the multi-car accident if the driver slammed on the brakes and caused the cars behind them to crash.
Many insurance companies involved in your multi-car accident case will try to shift responsibility for the automobile accident to other parties. Understanding the causes of the accident will help you protect yourself from the tactics used by insurance companies.
Multiple causes may contribute to a multi-car accident. Some drivers involved may be intoxicated, while others may have been following automobiles too closely. Any evidence related to the other drivers involved in the multi-car accidents needs to be assessed and analyzed by a knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorney.
Factors Affecting Liability In A Three-Car Accident
Many circumstances and facts can affect who will be found responsible for causing a multi-car accident.
These circumstances may include:
- Drivers failing to follow other automobiles at a proper distance
- Drivers operating motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Drivers not obeying traffic signs or traffic signals
- Drivers speeding on roads or highways
- Drivers not using turn signals
- Texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving
Speaking with a car accident attorney can help you determine how a court may determine which driver is responsible for a multi-car accident.
Challenging Fault In A Three-Car Accident
You can expect that all three drivers in this type of crash will point fingers at someone else, and you can expect someone to try to blame you. In these types of car accidents, the drivers will be arguing against each other.
You will have to interact with the other motor vehicle operators through their insurance companies. The insurance companies and their attorneys will try to make you appear to have an inconsistent recall of the events leading up to the automobile accident.
A car accident attorney can help you present evidence and keep your understanding and explanation of events consistent, thorough, and clear. Hiring a car accident attorney can help you understand the complicated aspects of your case and how you can protect yourself.
What Should A Driver Do After A Three-Car Automobile Accident?
It is important not to admit fault or sign any waivers at the scene of an automobile accident. If you are physically able to do so, then you should call emergency responders and wait for police officers to report to the accident scene. Do not speak to anyone at the accident scene while you wait for police officers to arrive.
The police officers will ask you questions, and you should explain what happened in a straightforward manner. You should try to record a video of the accident scene or take photographs of the multi-car accident. It is a good idea to mark the physical location of every vehicle involved in a multi-car accident.
You would be well-advised to speak to any eyewitnesses and record them explaining the causes of the multi-car accident. Many police officers may not be able to interview every witness who possesses relevant information.
You must also seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible. Hiring an attorney will help you deal with the complications created by a multi-car accident. Investigating the accident is an important component of your overall case strategy. An experienced attorney can help you investigate the accident scene thoroughly.
Insurance companies will try not to pay any amount of money for your injuries and damages. The insurance companies involved in multi-car accidents will deny liability and argue over who is at fault for the automobile accident. Injured victims often suffer due to the delaying tactics of the insurance companies.
An experienced car accident attorney can help you examine camera footage, accident reconstruction models, and vehicle damage to determine the cause of a multi-car accident. If you do not have legal representation, then the attorneys representing the insurance companies may try to offer you an unjust settlement amount or deny your insurance claims altogether.
Duty Of Care
The duty of care and the proximate cause will play a role in determining who will be liable in a three-car automobile accident. The duty of care is a fixed constant in tort law. Every motor vehicle operator must exercise reasonable care and drive safely while operating a motor vehicle.
Breaching the duty of care typically causes an injury, and this connection to the injuries or damages suffered by the victim is necessary to prove negligence. These four elements—the duty of care, breach, causation, and damages—are the primary components of every negligence claim. If one of these elements is missing, then an injured victim cannot recover financial compensation for his or her injuries.
These four elements are often the components of a case that a judge and jury will consider if a case does not settle. 95 percent of civil cases resolve through settlement negotiations. Only 5 percent of civil cases go to trial. The more complex your case is, the more likely it is that your case may need to go to court before a judge in a bench trial or before a jury in a jury trial.
If you hire a competent car accident attorney, then it is more likely that you will receive a just settlement amount during settlement negotiations. You will also be in a better position if your case happens to go to trial. Having an attorney by your side will help you determine the case strategy you pursue as you move forward with your multi-car accident claim.
Economic damages compensate injured victims for injuries that courts can quantify. Courts can assign these damages a dollar amount. Economic losses include lost wages, future lost earnings, and costs of medical treatment.
Non-economic damages are related to injuries that are less objective and more subjective in that they are less quantifiable. Non-economic damages may include loss of consortium, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Lawmakers enacted punitive damages to punish a defendant for particularly egregious behavior or conduct that harms a larger social community. Courts do not award these damages in every car accident case.
Insurance Policy Coverage Limits
Drivers who have insurance will often not have enough coverage for all the victims injured in a multi-car accident. Automobile insurance policies have coverage limits and have a maximum amount that will cover property damage and serious bodily injury.
Private Investigators And Accident Scene Analysis
Some parties will hire private investigators to analyze a multi-car accident scene. Private investigators will collate information on every driver involved in the automobile accident. Private investigators will use these records to assess each driver’s history.
Many private investigators will also analyze the accident scene and evaluate road conditions, measure tire marks, and take photographs. An individual or an insurance company may hire a private investigator. However, insurance companies will typically employ insurance claims adjusters to assist with accident scene analysis.
Litigants hire private investigators to ensure that the court considers every piece of evidence when liability for the multi-car accident is determined. Our attorneys can help you understand how private investigators may factor into your multi-car accident case strategy.
Filing A Car Accident Claim In New York
If you have suffered an injury in a multi-car accident, then you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible after you receive medical treatment for your injuries. A Bronx car accident lawyer can help you communicate with insurance companies and negotiate for you during the settlement phase.
If the at-fault driver isn’t obvious, you may file a claim against the insurance companies covering every other driver. If the same insurance company insured other drivers, then you need to file individual insurance claims against each driver and his or her policy.
Speak with a car accident attorney to ensure that you file all the necessary paperwork when you decide to file your car accident claim. The insurance companies will not try to deal with you transparently or honestly. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney can help you defend your legal rights and obtain a just settlement amount.
Do Not Speak With Any Insurance Companies
Insurance claims adjusters want to pay the least amount of money possible on your car accident claim. Many insurance companies will attempt to call you or communicate with you in some other form to get you to admit fault or say something that it can use against you later during your car accident case.
A car accident attorney should speak with the insurance company on your behalf. This protection can help you avoid any complications that can arise due to the tactics used by insurance companies.
Multi-Car Accident Attorney Costs
Hiring a car accident attorney does not have to cost you anything. You do not have to pay any fees upfront because car accident attorneys charge a contingency fee.
This means that a car accident attorney will not charge you any fee until you receive monetary compensation for your injuries. The car accident attorney will subtract his or her fee from your financial award before disbursing it to you. A car accident attorney will disclose and explain the contingency fee agreement when you retain one.
A car accident attorney will work hard to settle your case quickly and efficiently. Multi-car accidents, however, often feature more evidence analysis and disclosure. These cases can sometimes take longer to settle than other car accident cases. Having a car accident attorney zealously representing you is the best thing you can do to preserve your legal rights and acquire the financial compensation you need.