IfI was rear-rended and pushed into the car in front of me, why is it assumed thatI hit the car in front of me first?

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IfI was rear-rended and pushed into the car in front of me, why is it assumed thatI hit the car in front of me first?

I stopped behind the vehicle in front of me but was struck from behind. I was pushed into the vehicle in front of me and hit him twice due to the recoil and my foot slipping off the brake. My insurance company says that I am liable for the damage of the vehicle in front of me because I more than likely struck that vehicle first. My bumper was pushed in about 3 inches due to the collision; the vehicle in front of me received a scratch. If I hit the vehicle in front of me first, you would think there would be more damage. Why is this not being further investigated to vindicate me?

Asked on August 28, 2010 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This is know as a "hit in the rear" case and there is a presumption that the person who did the hitting is the culpable party.  The first car (you were the middle car, correct?) gave a statement that they felt 2 hits.  That could indicate that you hit them once on your own and then again when you were hit from behind.  Did you bounce off back and forth after being hit from the car behind?  The insurance adjuster is just going by what he or she has in their file and the statements made.  You need to make sure that your version is recorded and that it is taken seriously.  You may have to take an active part in the investigation and demand more under your rights under your policy.  Good luck.


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