What to do if I was rear-ended in a 3 car accident?

A car rear-ended the person behind me and the person behind me therefore rear-ended me. I have liability insurance and this happened in Arizona. My damage estimates are $2000-$3000 from 2sources. I have received a check from the middle car for $396. I don’t feel this is fair. Is it worth it to get a lawyer? Will I be able to get more money from the others’ insurance companies?

Asked on May 29, 2014 under Accident Law, Nevada

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

In this case, the other drivers--both the middle driver and the rear-most one--would seem to be liable, or responsible, because the law generally finds the rear driver(s) in collisions like this to be liable, under the theory that they were most likely careless  (negligent) in either following too closely to brake in time or not paying sufficient attention. However, the most you can recover are your actual losses--i.e. the cost to repair, which you indicate is $2,000 - $3,000; you can't get more than your actual losses. It's very unlikely it would be worthwhile retaining a lawyer; a lawyer could easily charge you as much or more than you'd recover (each party has to pay his/her own lawyer). It may be worthwhile acting as your own lawyer (pro se) and suing the other driverss, such as in small claims court; if you do, their insurers may then step in to settle.


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