Determining Liability in a Three-Vehicle Car Accident

Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
July 3, 2024
Tow truck carries three cars damaged beyond repair after a severe collision. The insurance company will pay the actual cash value. The cars might be restored or used for parts

Accidents happen, and when they involve multiple vehicles, determining liability can be a complex process. If you have been involved in a three-vehicle car accident in Pennsylvania, you may be wondering who is responsible for the damages and injuries that occurred. 

At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., our law firm understands the frustration and uncertainty that can come with such a situation, and we are here to help guide you through the process of determining liability.

Determining Fault

It can be difficult to determine who is at fault in a three-vehicle car accident. In these situations, it is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case. This can include obtaining police reports, witness statements, and photographic evidence from the scene of the accident.  

When trying to determine fault in a three-vehicle accident, it may be necessary to consider factors such as:

  • Each driver’s actions leading up to the accident
  • Any traffic laws that may have been violated
  • The positioning of each vehicle at the time of the collision
  • The speed at which each vehicle was traveling
  • Road and weather conditions at the time of the accident

In many cases, fault may be shared between multiple parties in a three-vehicle accident. In this case, each driver’s insurance company may be responsible for covering a portion of the damages based on the level of fault assigned to each party.

Creating a Timeline of Events

One key factor in determining liability in a three-vehicle accident is establishing the chain of events that led to the collision. This may involve identifying which driver caused the initial impact and how the subsequent collisions occurred.  Your car accident lawyer can help to create this timeline of events that can show which driver was at fault and ultimately responsible for the damages and injuries that occurred.

Comparative Fault Laws

It is important to remember that Pennsylvania follows a comparative negligence rule when it comes to car accidents. This means that even if you are found partially at fault for the accident, you may still be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and damages. Under Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence rule, compensation is determined based on each party’s percentage of fault for the accident. 

For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault for the accident, your total compensation award would be reduced by 20%. However, as long as you are found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident, you are still entitled to receive some compensation.

Types of Crashes that Involve Multiple Vehicles

Multi-vehicle accidents can take various forms, including rear-end collisions, chain reaction accidents, and even head-on collisions. In such cases, multiple parties are usually involved, each potentially sharing a portion of the fault.

In a rear-end collision involving three vehicles, the car in the back may have initially hit the vehicle in front due to various reasons, such as distraction or tailgating. This impact then creates a chain reaction, causing subsequent collisions. 

Chain reaction accidents involve multiple vehicles colliding in a series of events, often starting with one initial collision that sets off a chain reaction. These accidents can occur on highways, freeways, or congested roads where vehicles are closely following each other. 

Head-on collisions involving multiple vehicles can result from a driver swerving into oncoming traffic, losing control of their vehicle, or driving the wrong way on a one-way street. These accidents are particularly dangerous and often result in severe injuries or fatalities.

Contact a Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorney

It is important to remember that liability in a three-vehicle accident is not always straightforward. There may be multiple parties at fault, or it may be determined that one driver is solely responsible for the collision. By working with our law firm, we can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the claims process.

If you have been involved in a three-vehicle car accident in Pennsylvania and are unsure of how to proceed, our dedicated team at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. is here to help. Call us today at (215) 822-7575 or use our contact form.

Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
Pennsylvania Attorney's
July 3, 2024
Established in 1952 by Irwin S. Rubin, Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. boasts over 65 years of experience serving clients throughout Pennsylvania. Renowned for its commitment to ethical representation, the firm has garnered prestigious accolades, including being named the "Best Law Firm" for its outstanding legal defense work by U.S. News & World Report. Their team of seasoned attorneys, recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, brings unparalleled expertise to a wide range of legal matters, ensuring exceptional representation for individuals, families, businesses, and organizations.