Getting hit by another vehicle is scary, confusing, and often devastating even when both cars are traveling at relatively low speeds and only two vehicles are involved in the collision.
But what happens when multiple cars are involved in a crash? How is fault determined in a 3 car collision?
If you were recently involved in such an accident, you might have run internet searches with phrases like “ 3 car fender bender who is at fault,” and you likely found a variety of answers.
Indeed, in collisions involving more than one car, it may be difficult to determine fault, and more than one party actually may be liable for the collision. The following are some issues to consider when you are attempting to determine fault after a three-car collision.
How Did the Three-Way Car Accident Happen?
There are a variety of ways in which three-car fender benders might happen. Depending upon how the crash occurred, any of the three drivers may be liable for the collision. In some cases, all three drivers will bear some responsibility for the accident.
The following are some common ways in which three-car fender benders occur:
- Chain-reaction collision, or a three-car rear-end collision in which one vehicle rear-ends another, and a third vehicle rear-ends the car that originally rear-ended the first vehicle (e.g., Car C rear-ends Car B, which rear-ends Car A);
- Parking lot accident in which Car A backs out of a parking space into Car B (which is driving at a perpendicular angle to Car A in the parking lot lane), and Car C is driving behind Car B in the parking lot lane and rear-ends Car B;
- Intersection accident in which Drive A runs a red light, Car B goes through a green light and hits Car B, and Car C rear-ends Car B while also going through the green light; and/or
- Car A makes a left turn at a green yield light but misjudges the distance from oncoming Car B in the opposite direction, and Car B collides with Car A, followed by Car C, which was driving behind Car B and rear-ends Car B.
Multiple Drivers May Be At Fault in a 3 Car Collision
In the above scenarios, it is important to consider not only which vehicle struck another vehicle, but other issues such as following distance between the vehicles, whether any of the drivers made an error due to a distraction or failing to check a blind spot or another error, and whether any drivers violated a traffic law or rule.
For example, in a chain-reaction collision, it is likely that Car B and Car C did not leave sufficient following distance behind Car A to stop in time, regardless of whether Car A came to a sudden stop.
In the parking lot accident scenario, Car A likely failed to see Car B in its blind spot or simply did not check the mirrors, and Car C likely did not leave sufficient following distance. It is even possible that Car B was speeding, making all three drivers partially at fault.
Contact a Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer
Were you involved in a three-car collision? A car accident lawyer in Colorado Springs may be able to assist you. Contact McCormick & Murphy, P.C. for help with your case.