Who is at fault in a multi-car accident, when it isn’t a rear-end chain reaction?

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Who is at fault in a multi-car accident, when it isn’t a rear-end chain reaction?

I was involved in an auto accident where I collided with the front end of another person’s vehicle. Because the driver I hit suddenly stopped after the collision understandably, the driver behind them rear ended the car I also hit. Am I potentially at fault for the damage to the rear-end, even though the third driver should have allowed for ample stopping distance? I am an insured driver.

Asked on June 12, 2018 under Accident Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You are likely at fault for the rear-end damage, too. Even though the rear driver should leave reasonable stopping distance, that is for reasonable normal driving conditions or actions--e.g. the lead car slamming on the brakes suddenly. But the car coming to a stop even faster than that, due to being hit from the front, is not a typical or reasonable hazard and is not something the rear driver should be expected to prepare against. Hence, you caused the conditions which lead to the rear collision, too.


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