Multiple vehicle accidents are not unusual in Florida roadways.
When these types of accidents happen, there are often different motorists or passengers involved, more injuries, property damage, and possible fatalities. As a result, determining fault can be difficult and often leads to prolonged legal battles as various victims seek monetary compensation for their losses.
That’s why you need to contact dependable Daytona Beach car accident attorneys to evaluate your case, establish its validity, and help you collect a fair settlement.
Before we go any further on liability, it will be remiss of us not first to understand how and why three-way car accidents happen.
How three-way car accidents happen
There’s not a single way for multiple accidents to happen. In most cases, however, three-way auto collisions will occur as a result of chain-reaction.
For instance, one vehicle makes a sudden stop on a fast-moving interstate, forcing other drivers to brake just as hard. If one or more drivers were driving closely and cannot stop in time, a multiple-car accident can happen.
Usually, three-way auto collisions have several contributing factors. These include:
- Failure to observe traffic rules
- Distracted driving, which hinders the driver’s ability to avoid a crash.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Who is at fault in a three-way car accident?
Determining the cause and fault in a multiple car accident can be difficult. However, one thing that matters is your car’s position in relation to the other vehicles involved.
In simple terms, the driver who caused the initial problem that led to the multiple car accident may not have the same percentage of fault as the middle or the last driver.
Liability of the front car in a three-way auto collision
One basic driving rule (Florida Statute Section 316.0895) is that drivers are supposed to leave enough space between them and the car in front. This allows enough reaction time to stop when the vehicle ahead breaks suddenly.
For that reason, you’ll rarely be held liable for the accident when a car hits you from behind, even if another car made you stop. However, fault can be shared as per Florida’s pure comparative negligence rule if it can be proven that the front vehicle caused the crash by breaking suddenly.
Middle car liability
In a multiple-vehicle crash, the middle vehicle is liable for injuries and damages to the front car. That doesn’t matter whether or not the third or last car caused the accident. It is also possible for the first car to recover compensation from the last car, particularly if the middle car’s policy has insufficient funds.
Third or last car liability
This is often the vehicle that bears the largest percentage of fault. Depending on the accident’s specific circumstances, both the first and middle car may pursue a claim against the last car. Nevertheless, comparative negligence can be argued if there was a sudden stop by the front or middle vehicle.
It’s important to note that being the last vehicle in a multiple car accident doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be responsible for all the injuries and damage to the cars. Liability can shift to other parties, too. The manufacturer, for instance, may be held accountable if the accident was a result of brake failure.
Let our Daytona Beach car accident attorneys handle your three-way car accident case.
If you have been involved in a multiple-car accident, you need Daytona Beach car accident attorneys with experience in these types of claims.