Sometimes, it’s easy to determine who is at fault in a car accident. But when multiple cars are involved, things get complicated. In fact, all three drivers can be found to be at fault in a three-way car accident.
One driver may have caused the initial problem that led to multiple cars being involved in the car crash. The driver responsible for starting the three-way collision will likely have the largest percentage of fault. Determining the cause and collecting a fair settlement if you were injured can be difficult.
How does Insurance Determine Liability?
How the insurance companies dispense liability in a three-way car crash depends on how the collision was caused and contributed to.
For example, let’s say one driver rear-ends another car at the end of a line stopped at a red light. If the second car is hit with enough force, it could collide with the next car in line. The driver all the way at the back who first made contact is most likely at fault for the crash. That driver would be held liable for damages and injuries inflicted on the two drivers in front.
However, it’s possible the middle driver could be partially responsible if he had stopped too close to the car in front of him. And it’s also possible for the driver of the front car to be responsible for a three-way car accident. If the line of cars had started moving and he stopped suddenly, the cars behind could collide.
Factors That Can Affect Liability in the Accident
Other factors that could determine fault include:
- Whether any driver involved was inebriated
- Whether any driver was speeding
- Distracted driving (e.g., texting while driving)
- Failing to use turn signals
- Failing to observe traffic signals and signs
- Failing to follow at a safe distance
All vehicle collisions happen differently, so you would be wise to consult with your Fort Lauderdale personal injury injury lawyer to protect yourself from liability.
Can You Challenge Fault in a Three-Way Car Accident?
You could be found at fault if you’ve been involved in a three-way car accident. If you believe this assessment to be wrong, you can challenge it. In order to deny fault, you will most likely be arguing against the testimony of the other drivers.
Dealing with your own insurance company can be trying. But dealing with multiple drivers and their insurance companies can be exhausting. You have to present any evidence you may have and keep your story straight. You also run the risk of saying something that could implicate you.
Common Tactics Insurance Companies Use Against You
The insurance company may use various tactics to minimize or reject your claim. These include calling to ask about you and expressing concern about your accident and injuries.
They may appear friendly and sympathetic, but the reality is they are trying to mine your conversation for clues on how you could be at fault for your accident. They may also want to record your conversation and get you on record saying something that could hurt your case for compensation.
We Can Talk to the Insurance Company for You
If you need to challenge fault in a three-way car accident, your safest bet would be to speak with a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer. If you get a call from an insurance adjuster, you can just keep the conversation short and tell them to call your lawyer, who will handle all further communications from then on.
We know how to handle insurance companies and look out for your interests. We understand the compensation you need to help you put your life back together after your accident, so we keep this in mind as we seek financial recovery for you from the liable party’s insurer or the liable party itself.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine provide free consultations to Florida drivers for all car accidents. Call us at 1-800-747-3733 to discuss your options.
Other Tasks Our Lawyers Can Do for You
Your car accident attorney will:
- Investigate your case
- Gather evidence to support your case
- Establish how the accident harmed you
- Calculate your damages, both economic (monetary) and non-economic (non-monetary), and determine a value for your case
- Determine a legal strategy
- Handle all communications with the other drivers
We will represent you in court if a settlement cannot be reached. With a car accident attorney at your side, you will have your best chance at winning financial compensation in your case.
Will Florida’s Comparative Negligence Laws Affect My Settlement?
The rules of the road vary by state. Florida has a comparative negligence rule to determine fault in vehicle collisions. That means multiple drivers could be assigned fault, and the amount you can collect in a car accident claim is reduced by whatever percentage of fault you are assigned. That’s why it’s so important to let a legal expert handle your case.
Even if you win your case and a jury awards you $50,000 for your injuries and vehicle damage, you may not receive the full amount. If you were found to be 25% at fault for the accident, your award would be reduced by $12,500. As a result, your award is whittled down to $37,500.
What Should I Do After Being Involved in a Three-Way Car Accident?
You should seek immediate medical care after being involved in any collision. Some additional measures to support your case’s outcome include:
Considering Your Legal Options
While suffering from serious injuries, you don’t want to juggle communications with multiple parties. Now, you should focus on your personal health and well-being. When you partner with our team, we will manage everything your case requires, from communicating with the at-fault party to calculating your losses.
Following Through with Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan
It’s not enough to visit a healthcare provider after getting hurt. You need to follow through with your prescribed treatment plan. This may include taking certain medications, attending follow-up appointments, and taking time off work. If you don’t follow through with treatment, the liable insurance party could contest your case’s validity.
Thinking Twice About Accepting That First Settlement Offer
After getting hurt, the liable insurance company may extend a settlement offer. More likely than not, this will not account for the full scope of your losses. Here are some other things to know:
- Once you accept a settlement offer, your case ends. The insurance company is released of liability, and you cannot request more money.
- You can’t know the accident’s true impact on your life in its immediate aftermath. So, you likely don’t know what constitutes a fair offer.
- The insurance company hopes that by offering an early settlement, you haven’t teamed up with a lawyer yet. In that case, it hopes to get away with offering less than you deserve.
Avoid Giving a Recorded Statement
Do you know who benefits from a recorded statement? The insurance company. During this recorded conversation, a claims adjuster will ask you seemingly harmless questions. However, each of these questions is “loaded.” The insurance company hopes that you’ll reveal incriminating information about your case, which it can use against you.
Your lawyer will give the insurance company the information it needs to settle your case.
Our Team Is Committed to Resolving Your Three-Way Car Accident Case
A three-car accident can cause thousands of dollars in damages – if not more. Yet, with our team’s help, you won’t have to pay for them out of pocket. You could recover compensation for:
- Healthcare expenses, both present and future
- Lost income, tips, bonuses, and employee benefits
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Emotional trauma
- Property damage expenses
- Funeral costs
- Loss of consortium
You may recover compensation for additional losses than those listed here.
You Must File within the Appropriate Deadline to Recover Damages
Florida imposes a statutory deadline on all civil cases. Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a) notes that you generally have four years to file an injury lawsuit. To recover damages, you must abide by this filing deadline, or you could lose the right to take legal action.
When you entrust your case to our firm, we will file your case before the statutory deadline expires and pursue what you need.
Get a Fair Settlement for Your Three-Way Car Accident
It is a guarantee that all insurance companies involved will have a team of experienced car accident lawyers at their disposal. Now is the time to seek help.
The Jacksonville car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine will defend your right to a fair settlement so you can focus on your recovery. Call us at 1-800-747-3733 for a no-obligation consultation. Here, we can discuss your case, legal options, and more.
We Can Help.