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Who is at fault in a three-way accident?

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

Car accidents can be stressful, especially when they involve multiple vehicles. Three-way car accidents are complex, and determining fault in these situations can be challenging. In this article, we will discuss the factors that determine fault in a three-way car accident.

What you need to know

When you get into a car accident, it is usually easy to determine fault. Add another car into the mix and fault becomes very difficult to establish. In some cases, all the drivers involved can be proclaimed at fault; everything is dependent on the situation.


What factors determine fault in a multiple car accident?

When determining fault in a three-way car accident, several factors come into play. These include:

  • Negligence: Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to another person. In a three-way car accident, negligence can occur in several ways, including speeding, distracted driving, or failing to follow traffic rules.

  • Contributory negligence: Contributory negligence occurs when the victim of an accident contributes to their injuries through their actions. For example, if a driver fails to use a turn signal, and another driver hits them while changing lanes, both drivers may share fault for the accident.

  • Vehicle malfunction: If a vehicle malfunctioned and caused the accident, the manufacturer or mechanic may be held liable.

  • Road conditions: Poor road conditions, such as potholes, can contribute to car accidents. If the accident was caused by poor road conditions, the municipality responsible for maintaining the road may be held liable.

If the fault cannot be determined, the case may be settled in court. In court, a judge or jury will examine the evidence presented and determine who is at fault.


How do insurance companies determine liability?

This all depends on the percentage of fault the police deemed you to be on the police report as well as statements taken about the accident, etc. For example, if there are three cars and the last car is the last in line and hits the car in front of it. Which then, in turn, makes the middle car hit the car in front of them. That situation clearly puts the back car at fault. Therefore, that car would be held most responsible and considered liable. Although, not all multiple car accidents are so clean cut.

Important factors to consider when determining fault:

  • Inebriation of Any Drivers

  • Speeding

  • Distracted Driving

  • Not using a turn signal

  • Not paying attention to Traffic Signals & Signs

  • Being too close to the car in front

Can you challenge fault in a multiple car accident?

Since these types of accidents usually result in allo cars taking some percentage of fault, is not uncommon for drivers to try to dispute these claims. In order to do this, you must be willing to challenging the testimony of the other drivers involved and present evidence to support your claims.


You will also have to deal with multiple insurance companies and claims adjusters, which can be very time-consuming. That is why you are going to want to contact a personal injury attorney. Make sure you have all of your information together, such as gathered witness statements, photographs, and any other relevant evidence to support your case.


Why should I contact a Personal Injury Attorney after a Three Car Accident?

The problem with an accident that involves three or more cars is that it makes it extremely difficult to determine who is at fault. That is why in most cases with numerous cars, all drivers are assigned a percentage of fault. Challenging that percentage can be difficult because then it becomes your words vs. the other drivers and their insurance companies.


If you try to fight a situation like this on your own you run the risk of saying something that could implicate you. Therefore, having a car accident attorney on your side would allow them to speak on your behalf.


Some tactics that insurance companies try to use against you

The insurance companies tend to say and word things in a tricky way to get you to slip up and say something that will make them reject your claim. For example, they may call expressing concern regarding your injury and accident, but really they are breaking down the conversation to try to get you to say something that could put you at fault. They also record most of the conversations they have with you to use as evidence and destroy your case. (click here to learn more about recorded statements)


What does a car accident attorney do for me?

There are numerous parts to every car accident case and a personal injury attorney can help you with a lot of them. In their initial call, they will gather and investigate your case based on the information you provide, as well as what the police report states. They then will ask you to provide them with everything else they need as well as handle all communication with the other drivers and insurance companies.


So if you are looking for a car accident lawyer that will fight dilligently for you call Demesmin and Dover at 866-954-MORE (6673).


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