Rear-end collisions are one of the most common causes of car accidents in the United States.
This type of collision occurs when one car hits another car from behind. In some cases, such an accident may involve more than two cars. The rear car is almost always at fault in the event of a rear-end collision; however, there are exceptions.
Let’s first understand why the rear car’s driver is almost always held responsible for the accident – even in cases where the front car’s driver stopped or slowed down his vehicle suddenly. This is because the Assured Clear Distance Ahead (ACDA) rule requires that the person driving the rear car maintain a safe distance between his car and the car in front. In other words, a car’s driver need to make sure that he does not follow another car too closely or drive too fast to get enough time to stop and avoid a collision, should the car in front stops or slows down suddenly.
How Vehicle Damage Can Establish Fault in a Rear-End Collision
Damages caused to the vehicles involved in a rear-end accident are often the biggest proof of what happened in the accident and who was at fault. For instance, in an accident involving two cars, it is almost always evident that the car with a damaged front-end struck the other car from behind, while the car with a damaged rear-end was hit by the tailing car. The nature of the damages often reveals how the accident occurred.
What if a Collision between Two Cars is Caused by a Third Car?
In an accident involving three cars, the last or the third car may hit the second or the middle car, pushing the front-end of the middle car into the back of the first car. In such an accident, the liability is often placed on the third car’s driver. This means that the first and the second cars’ drivers are entitled to claim financial compensation from the third car’s driver for the damages to their cars. In this case, even though the second car struck the first car from behind, the driver of the second car was not at fault for the accident, because the collision between the first and the second car resulted from a prior collision between the third car and the second car, in which the second car’s driver had no fault. In some situations, even the third car’s driver may file a claim against a third-party driver, who caused the second car’s driver to stop or slow down his car suddenly, thereby causing a collision between the second and the third car.
What if The Middle Car’s Driver is Partially at Fault?
In some cases, the middle car’s driver in a rear-end accident involving three cars may be partially at fault. This could be a case where the middle car driver’s negligence is partially responsible for the accident. For instance, the middle car could be held partially responsible for the accident, if the car’s horn or brake was not working at the time of the accident or if one of its tires blew at that time. In such cases, the second car’s driver may end up receiving a lower amount of compensation or even no compensation at all.
Multi-Vehicle Accident Attorney St. Louis
If you were pushed into a moving car by another vehicle, you should get in touch with a qualified attorney at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Multi-vehicle accident claims can often get overwhelming and confusing. Our team can evaluate your case for free and help you determine how to recover compensation from the at-fault party.