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

UPDATED: May 29, 2014

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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