Who Is Responsible in a Three Car Rear-End Collision?

three-car rear-end collision
Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham LLC Blog April 5, 2022

Who Is Responsible in a Three Car Rear-End Collision?

When an accident involves two vehicles, determining liability seems much more straightforward. All too often, however, accidents involve three or more vehicles. In fact, a three-car rear-end collision is one of the most common accidents in the Quad Cities area.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a three-car rear-end crash, call the Quad Cities personal injury lawyers at Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham. Reach us by dialing (309) 794-1515, filling out this FREE online form, or using our LiveChat feature. We’ve represented the varied legal interests of our clients for more than 50 years, and we are ready to do the same for you and your family.

Rear-End Collision Involving Three Cars

Rear-end collisions are common, especially at stoplights and stop signs. Just one driver might make a single poor choice and cause a chain reaction. During such events, other dangers take these collisions to another level. The middle car can suffer from multiple impacts. A large accident scene causes chaos (and sometimes subsequent accidents) in the roadway. If a commercial vehicle bearing a dangerous load is involved, victims may be exposed to the materials inside.

The Quad Cities area follows “at-fault” laws, which means the person or persons who caused the accident is responsible for paying the damages. Let’s look at a few scenarios for each vehicle involved in a three-way crash.

Liability for Each Car Involved in a Three-Car Rear-End Crash

You might think that the first car in this scenario would not be liable, as the other two cars would impact the first car. However, this is not the case. Any car in a rear-end collision might be held liable if:

  • They were driving distractedly and failed to see the vehicle’s brake lights ahead of them.
  • They came to a sudden, unexpected stop.
  • Their brake lights are not operational.
  • They signaled incorrectly.
  • The vehicle entered another lane of traffic without signaling or checking its blindspot.
  • They were following another car too closely.
  • The second or third car followed too closely and hit the middle car, forcing the second car into the rear of the first car.
  • The third driver was not watching the road closely and failed to stop before seeing the accident in front of them.

Other Accidents That Involve Three Vehicles

Not every multi-vehicle accident is a rear-end collision. We’ve all seen highway pile-ups on the news and have heard of tragic injury and loss of life as a result. Multiple-vehicle crashes can also result from:

  1. Head-on collisions
  2. Side-impact crashes
  3. Rollover accidents
  4. Sideswipe accidents

Related Article: What Is a Sideswipe Collision?

What Might Affect Liability in a Three-Way Car Accident?

Of course, if any of the drivers was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, finding liability can be more complicated. And countless other scenarios could affect who is responsible for paying for damages resulting from an accident.

A knowledgeable car accident lawyer from Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham will be able to sift through the chaos. We will listen to the details of your case, conduct an investigation, and determine an appropriate amount of financial compensation to seek.

How to Handle the Insurance Companies

The first thing you should do after an accident is to make sure that you are not hurt. If you or a passenger requires medical attention, call 911 immediately. If possible, get to a safe place away from the other two vehicles. 

But remember: do not settle your case with an insurance company without talking to your lawyer first. Some insurance companies will reach out to you while you are still in the hospital, all in the hopes of saving a dollar. Rather, enlist the help of Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham. We do home and hospital visits so that you have the help you need when you need it most.

Related Article: Do I Need to File a Police Report After a Traffic Accident?

Call Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham After Vehicle Collisions

Don’t go it alone if you have been in a three-car wreck in the Quad Cities area. Call us at (309) 794-1515. We are available for evening and weekend appointments, so we can work with your family’s schedule. When you employ our full-service law firm, you won’t pay us any fees unless we obtain a financial recovery on your behalf. 

Use our LiveChat feature or fill out this FREE online form to set up your free initial consultation. We serve Davenport and Bettendorf in southeastern Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline and East Moline in northwestern Illinois, so don’t wait to reach out. We want to help you and your family on the road to recovery. 

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.