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Finding out who was at fault in multi-car collisions

Brooklyn residents who have been involved in a multi-vehicle crash probably know how hard it can be to determine fault. It takes all kinds of evidence to do this: the police reports, for example, and even evidence from the crash site like skid marks and vehicle debris. Eyewitness testimony frequently helps, too, even if it is testimony from the drivers themselves who were in the crash.

The following is a basic outline of how fault can be established. Say that three cars are involved in a chain reaction of rear-end collisions. Driver A brakes to avoid a danger, and Driver B initiates the crash because he or she was following too closely. Then, Driver C, also tailgating, increases the impact felt by Driver A. In this case, Driver A can file a claim against both Drivers B and C as they both violated a basic traffic rule. Even Driver B can hold Driver C responsible despite being partially to blame for Driver A’s injuries.

If, however, Driver B was not speeding, tailgating or being negligent in any other way but was forced into Driver A by the negligence of Driver C, then Driver A can only pursue a claim against Driver C. Driver B will, of course, have grounds to file against Driver B as well.

Whenever motor vehicle crashes arise because of negligence, those who were injured through little or no fault of their own may file a claim, but they may want a lawyer to evaluate the case first and give advice and guidance. New York is a no-fault state, so there are limitations on who can file a third-party insurance claim. Assuming that victims can file, they may leave all negotiations to their lawyer, litigating if a settlement cannot be agreed upon.