Multiple Vehicle Crash: Who Is At Fault In A Rear End Collision Involving 3 Or More Cars?

woman on phone with multicar crash behind her

Recent Data On Multiple Car Crash Accidents

Statistical data released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that a multiple vehicle collision usually results in more traffic deaths than a single-car crash. This is because there are more people involved. In total, there have been 12,769 deaths in the year 2020 due to instances of a multiple vehicle accident. This is more than the 11,250 people who died in single-vehicle crashes that year.

There has been no signs of such traffic deaths from slowing down either. Indeed, VOX has called attention to the “car crash epidemic” that’s been plaguing the nation ever since the COVID-19 lockdown has eased.

The so-called car crash epidemic is evident in the instances of multi-car accidents in Los Angeles. For instance, the infamous Windsor Hills accident killed 6 people and left many injured, with the driver (found to have driven 130 miles per hour, according to the Los Angeles Times) crashing into one car over another as she ran a red light.

While it’s clear who is responsible for the deaths in the aforementioned accident, oftentimes it’s hard to determine who is to blame in a multi vehicle crash. The one who is at fault is determined on a case-by-case basis.
 

What To Do In A Multiple Vehicle Collision

Here’s what you need to do when you’re involved in a multi-car accident:

  1. Call The Police: Proper documentation is needed in scenarios like this. It’ll protect all parties involved.

  2. Exchange Information: You need to exchange the following information to all parties involved:

    1. Insurance Company

    2. Driver’s License Information

  3. Call A Personal Injury Lawyer: A personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the confusing ins-and-outs of the judicial system and get you the maximum compensation you deserve
     

Who's At Fault In A Multiple Car Accident?

In the state of California, the one to blame in a multi-car accident is outlined in the California Civil Code (CIV) §1714, which defines (albeit vaguely) what is considered “negligent” behavior on the road:


Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.

This basically states that anyone who acted with little regard to the safety of others (ie: disobeying rules of the road) will be held liable for the accident.

Here are some common instances of a multi-car collision:

  1. The Domino Effect: The domino effect occurs when a car hits another car, causing the impacted car to also hit the car in front of it.


A hits B → B hits C

In this scenario, the blame will be placed on the car who instigated the series of collisions (Car A).

  1. The Double Impact Effect: The double impact effect occurs when a car is impacted two times due to the actions of two different drivers. This usually happens when the two cars behind you are speeding and/or tailgating.

B hits A → C hits B → B hits A (again)

In this scenario, Car A made a stop. Car B — who was likely speeding and/or tailgating — does not have enough leverage to make a safe stop and hits A.

Car C, who was behind B also does not have enough leverage to brake safely, causing the driver to run into B, which ultimately led B to hit A again.

Car A can then place the blame on both B and C.

Even so, it’s difficult to pinpoint who exactly is at fault in certain scenarios. Be sure to consult with the team at Omega Law Group if you’re dealing with a multiple car accident.

Call Omega Law Group

We have represented clients who have been affected by various personal injuries, including Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Soft Tissue Injury, and many more. Our awards and excellent testimonials are a result of our ability to empathize and attend to the needs of our clients. Here at Omega Law Group, you will come first.

If you or a loved one is suffering due to an accident, reach out to our team. Visit our Contact Us page or call us at (310) 504-1852.

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