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Establishing degrees of fault in multi-car accidents

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Most car accidents in Kentucky, as elsewhere, are caused by negligence. In multi-vehicle crashes, though, it can be hard to prove who was negligent and to what degree. It’s not impossible, though. The following is a simple outline of what would be done.

Let’s say that three drivers rear-end each other. Driver A, at the front, has to brake suddenly, and Driver B rear-ends Driver A because B was inattentive or was following too closely. Drivers are supposed to be alert at all times and must keep a safe distance from vehicles, so clearly Driver B was negligent. But perhaps a negligent Driver C increased the force of the impact between Drivers A and B. In that case, Driver A can hold B and C responsible.

If Driver B was following the law like Driver A but, being hit from behind, was sent into Driver A, then Driver A can only pursue a claim against Driver C. Driver B may also file a claim against Driver C.

Negligence can come in various forms: distracted driving, speeding, tailgating and driving too fast in fog or darkness. To prove negligence, one may need to bring together evidence of all kinds, including the police report; eyewitness testimony, including that of the passengers; and physical findings at the crash site.

Those who incur auto accident injuries through little or no fault of their own have the right to file a personal injury claim. Kentucky being a pure comparative negligence state, no degree of fault necessarily bars one from recovering damages. However, that degree of fault will proportionally lower the amount one does recover. To see how strong their case is, victims may see a lawyer for an evaluation. If hired, the lawyer might represent victims at the negotiation table.