What to do if I was involved in the middle of a freeway pile up and I’m now wrongly being blamed for the accident?

The guy in front of me crashed into the car in front of him and made it spin. Totaling both of their cars. I slammed my brakes. I did not hit him, but he has a small dent on his right bumper. He told me at the scene do not worry about it. He did not accuse me at the scene, but he did say the dent was not there before the accident. His car was also in 2 lanes. I exchanged info and I left before the police arrived. I had an important appointment. Now He is trying to blame me for the pile up. He said it was my fault because I hit him and that made him hit her. I have no damage to my car not even a scratch. And no one hit me in the back. He smelled like alcohol. This is my 1rst accident.

Asked on July 19, 2015 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Until and unless legal action is taken (e.g. you are sued), it doesn't matter if he "blames" you--that is just his opinion, and everyone is entitled to one. His blame doesn't obligate you to do or pay anything.

If he or his insurer does try to sue you to recover money, on the theory you were at fault in the accident, to win, they'd have to prove that 1) you hit him, 2) the hit caused the accident, and 3) you were at fault (e.g. driving negligently or carelessly) in hitting him. If they can't prove that in court, they can't recover money from you. In trying to prove it, they can put forward his testimony (his version or story) about what happened, but you and/or your attorney can counter with your version as well as by examining physical evidence (e.g. the fact there was no dent, scratch, etc. to your car), as well as with any police reports or other helpful witness testimony.

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