The vast majority of auto crashes involve just two vehicles. However, there are many auto accidents that may involve three or more vehicles. This is normal on public roads, especially those with high traffic.
I was in a three-car accident – who pays my damages? This is a common question. Below are two other questions you may ask
Who is responsible for the crash?
Who will pay for my injuries and property damage?
Determining who is at fault can be challenging in a 3-car accident, as each driver will have their version of the story. To protect yourself and ensure you get justice at the same time, you have to call your lawyer.
How Fault is Determined
The first step in the process of identifying the at-fault driver is to investigate which driver broke traffic rules. Common traffic infringements that may cause 3-vehicle crashes to include:
- Messaging while driving
- Forceful driving
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or any other drug
- Languid driving
- Following the car ahead too intensely
If any of the drivers committed at least one of these infringements and caused the accident as a result, they are liable for all the resulting liabilities.
In two-car accidents, it is often clear which driver caused the crash. A common example is a driver stopping at a red light only to get hit from behind. In such a case, the driver behind caused the accident, as they failed to maintain a reasonable distance that would allow them to stop if the car in front stopped suddenly.
Below are a few simple steps for identifying the at-fault driver in a 3-car crash:
- Find out what caused the chain of events that eventually led to the 3-car crash
- Figure out what followed after the main occasion
- Follow the whole chain from start to end
For instance, if you are struck from behind after stopping at a red light in a two-vehicle accident, the driver who hit your car is culpable. It does not matter whether the brakes failed or there was another reason why they failed to stop.
How Do You Determine Liability?
If you think the other driver is responsible for the crash, you should anticipate an impending battle because the other driver may also think that you are responsible. Each driver will accuse the other, and things may turn ugly.
Deciding who is liable for the crash boils down to the capacity to demonstrate that the other driver was careless or negligent. Here are things you have to prove:
1. Show that the other party owed you a duty of care: In an auto crash, you just need to state traffic laws the other driver was supposed to abide by but failed and caused the crash as a result. This can be speeding, following too intensely, distracted driving, or wild driving.
2. Show that the breach of the duty of care caused the crash. Whether following too intensely, speeding or distracted driving caused the cash, you have to show the court how this happened.
3. Show that due to the accident, you suffered physical injuries, property damage, lost income, and experienced pain and suffering. Medical reports and testimonials from your doctor as well as relatives can help to demonstrate your injuries.
The following are questions to ask in a 3-car accident:
- What conditions led to the mishap?
- Is there proof showing that more than one driver was responsible?
- Are there any witnesses?
Are the other drivers properly insured?
Three-car accidents can be complicated. That is why you need to call 911 immediately, then get in touch with both your insurer and car accident lawyer to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Read also: The Repercussions of Having a Car Accident