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tinyfaery's avatar

Car accident liability? Help!

Asked by tinyfaery (36187 points ) March 24th, 2009 from iPhone

I was in an accident yesterday. I rear-ended someone who rear-ended someone else. It was my fault. Someone jammed on the breaks infront of me and I had no time to stop. My question is, am I libel for damages sustained to the 3rd car, the one I didn’t directly hit? The car I hit was too close to the driver infront, so the person I hit hit another. Does this make me libel for the person that the car I hit hit?

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20 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I found this Excerpt:

“In some situations both you and the car behind you will be stopped
when a third car runs into the car behind you which pushes into the
rear of your car. In that case it is the driver of the third car who
is at fault and against whose liability insurance you would file a
claim.”

Sorry,tf. That is a bummer. I hope you weren’t hurt.

tinyfaery's avatar

Shit. But if the car ahead of me had been the legal distance away from the car, the second car would not have hit the 3rd car.

SpatzieLover's avatar

In our locale, all three of you’d be given a citation.

westy81585's avatar

It varies by your location (different states have different laws). In some states you and the person you hit would both be given a citation (which would really blow for the guy you hit). In other states it would be entirely your fault. You’ll have to look it up for your particular area, I’d recommend calling a lawyer, or if you know one a cop. They can usually answer that question for you.

(your insurance company probably can too)

westy81585's avatar

OH, and so you know, if you’re in a state where it’s your fault, don’t bother arguing the 2nd car wasn’t far enough away from the 3rd car legally. Cuz “legally” he could be a millimeter away.

Darwin's avatar

Next time don’t worry how close the guy in front of you is to the car in front of him. Instead, make sure you are well back from the guy in front of you. Then any collision would be his fault and your car wouldn’t have any damage at all.

VS's avatar

Unfortunately it is always the person in the back who is at fault. I know this why? Well, sitting in a BK drive-thru (another good reason to avoid fast-food!), the lady in front of me decided she didn’t want to wait and started to back up. I blew and blew the horn to no avail. She hit me. I was completely stopped and I would have been cited except that it happened on private property. The cop said that despite the fact that you may not have been at fault, you must always leave enough room to avoid hitting the car in front of you.
Sorry – hope you weren’t hurt.

gimmedat's avatar

I was rear-ended by a semi going 45 MPH. He hit me, I hit the car in front of me, that driver hit the car in front of him, and that driver hit the car in front of him. The trucker’s insurance was liable for all of the damages to all the vehicles and all of the medical bills. That. Sucked.

Sorry that you’re in that situation, it’s just unfortunate all the way around.

miasmom's avatar

This happened to me a year ago, I was the middle car, and I was not at fault (although I wasn’t too close to the person in front of me), but I think you are liable for both cars. :(

casheroo's avatar

So, you hitting the guy in front of you caused him to hit the guy in front of him? I think you’re liable for all damages, sadly.

tinyfaery's avatar

Talked to my insurance co. My fault. SHIT!!! I hope no one wants to sue me.

Darwin's avatar

@tinyfaery – That is what your insurance company is for. Leave it in their hands. Their lawyers will talk to the other guys lawyers and it will all work out.

Except your rates might go up.

Judi's avatar

@tinyfaery ; I think you live in California right? Let the claims department of your insurance company handle everything. Unless you are very wealthy and under insured, no one will sue you personally. Unless you have got something of great (like millions) value no attorney will help them beyond the limits of your insurance.
Relax. Shit happens. Thank goodness you have insurance. Try to stop beating yourself up. (can you tell I’ve been in your shoes?) It sounds like no one was hauled away in an ambulance and that’s great news. In all the excitement, make sure you’re OK too. If you get sore in the next few days, try to see a doctor.
Talk care of yourself. I’m glad you’re OK.

tinyfaery's avatar

Thanks Judi. I am sore, and my wrists hurt, oh, and my
pride.

miasmom's avatar

@tinyfaery Judi makes a great point, when I was the middle car, the person behind me had very minimal coverage, $10,000 I believe and my car was messed up. We went to an auto body repair shop and they work with the insurance people and they fixed my car for $9600 I believe and the car in front of me had some minor scratches and got the rest of the $400 to fix that. It’ll work out. So, even though his insurance was crap, it was still enough to fix my car.

hearkat's avatar

I was once in a similar situation: traffic stopped short in front of us; I and the woman behind me had been able to stop cleanly, but the man behind her had big workboots that hit the gas and the brake simultaneously, pushing her into me. He was held responsible for all damages, and his insurance covered everything. This was in New Jersey.

I can’t imagine that the laws would differ from state to state in such a situation. If both of the other drivers had been able to stop their cars safely, they had been following at a safe distance. You caused the accident by not being able to stop in time.

john65pennington's avatar

If you are the last car in a “chain reaction” accident, you are liable for all the damages caused by you, in the chain reaction accident. this includes all the vehicles involved.

robertanderson's avatar

Whenever you hit someone from backside its 99% you at fault and if the car that you hit from the back hit 3rd car after your hit its also your fault…... you will be liable for car damage and
personal injury claim…

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