New Jersey residents can probably imagine how hard it is to determine fault in a multi-vehicle accident. Even between two vehicles, it takes a lot of investigating before the fault can be correctly distributed. Still, those involved in a multi-vehicle accident can follow the process summarized below to determine fault.
Most multi-vehicle collisions are a series of rear-end collisions. Let’s call the driver in front Driver A. If Driver B, directly behind Driver A, was following too closely, then Driver B would likely be at fault because he or she had too little time to brake to a stop. If Driver C, behind Driver B, were tailgating as well, then both B and C could be held liable by Driver A. At the same time, Driver B, though partially responsible for Driver A’s damages, could seek damages from Driver C.
Tailgating is just one form of negligence that Driver B or C might be guilty of. It could be that one of them was speeding or committed some other traffic violation. Driver A may, with the help of an attorney, gather evidence from the crash site, such as skid marks and vehicle debris, in order to prove negligence. He or she may also use police reports and seek the testimony of eyewitnesses. The driver’s own testimony can count.
New Jersey is a no-fault state, so in the case of most motor vehicle accidents, drivers simply file a claim with their own insurance company. If a collision leads to serious injuries or disabilities, though, victims may pursue a third-party insurance claim. Regardless of how many other vehicles were involved, it may be wise to seek legal counsel before taking this step. Personal injury attorneys usually have a network of investigators, medical experts and other third parties who may assist with a case.