Who Pays for Damages in a 3-Way Car Accident?

San Antonio Car Crash Accident Pileup

Not all car accidents involve only two drivers. Many are three-way, four-way and pileup accidents. Since Texas is a fault state, you must determine fault for your accident before you can file an insurance claim. Determining fault for a multi-car accident can be tricky. You may need assistance from a car accident lawyer to understand liability and recover fair benefits for your damages.

Texas’s Fault Insurance System

In any car accident case, the person who pays for damages in Texas is the one who caused the wreck. This is due to Texas’s fault- or tort-based car insurance system. With this system, the person at fault for causing the collision will bear liability for subsequent damages. In a no-fault state, fault is irrelevant to a car insurance claim. All injured parties will seek compensation from their own insurance companies, even if they were not at fault. Before you bring an insurance claim in Texas, you need to understand who is to blame for the car crash.

How Do You Determine and Prove Fault in a 3-Way Accident?

Fault for a car accident generally goes to the driver who broke a roadway rule or breached a duty of care to other drivers. Broken rules regularly cause preventable car accidents in Texas. Common examples include breaking the speed limit, texting and driving, driving while intoxicated, making unsafe lane changes, making illegal turns, racing or driving recklessly, and falling asleep at the wheel. If a driver is guilty of any of these acts of negligence, he or she will be responsible for a related auto accident.

In a three-way car accident, liability may not be as black and white. First, you will need to pinpoint where the car accident started. The driver that struck you may not be the driver guilty of the breach of duty that caused the initial crash. The driver that hit you may also be a victim of a third driver. For example, if a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and rear-ended the car behind you, pushing that car forward and making it rear-end you, the truck driver would be liable, not the driver behind you.

After a three-way car accident, you must trace the cause of the wreck back to the triggering event. In a chain reaction accident, one car or driver is typically responsible for every collision that occurs thereafter in the chain reaction. Chain reaction accidents are most common in busy and congested areas in San Antonio, such as major freeways during rush hour. In general, the rule of liability for a multivehicle crash is that the first car to rear-end someone else and trigger the chain reaction will be the party liable for damages.

When to Contact an Attorney in San Antonio

Most three-way car accidents come down to the fault of the first driver to collide with another driver. In some cases, however, two or more drivers share fault for the crash. You may be able to hold both of the other drivers partially responsible for your damages. Texas is a comparative negligence state, meaning that if you were also partially to blame for the three-way car accident, you could still recover some compensation. The courts will reduce the amount of compensation you win by the percentage of fault assigned to you.

Achieving a fair compensatory award after a three-way car accident in Texas may require assistance from an attorney. A car accident lawyer in San Antonio can investigate your crash, return to the scene, hire crash reconstruction experts and take other steps to get to the bottom of which driver caused the initial collision. Then, your lawyer can pursue compensation from that driver’s insurance company on your behalf. Working with an attorney can help you receive a full and fair damage award after a three-way car accident.

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