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How Do You Determine Who Is at Fault in a Multi-Vehicle Accident?

Assigning fault for a multi-car collision generally comes down to figuring out which driver was negligent. This is considerably more challenging than determining fault in a standard two-vehicle collision. In a multi-vehicle accident, the actions of the negligent driver have resulted in the vehicles around them being involved in the collision, like when the impact of a rear-end accident forces the struck car into the rear of another vehicle.

There are many different causes of multi-vehicle accidents. Hazardous road conditions can lead to multi-vehicle crashes, as can inclement weather when it limits visibility, and distracted drivers can lose control of their vehicles. 

If you are uncertain exactly how your insurance provider assigned fault in your multi-vehicle crash, an experienced car accident attorney can help you understand. If you decide to take legal action, your attorney will conduct an independent investigation and determine liability on your behalf. Multi-vehicle accidents often result in serious injuries and property damage, so you need to ensure fault is appropriately assigned so you can collect fair compensation for your injuries,

Establishing fault, particularly in a multi-vehicle accident, is a complex process. Regardless of whether your state enforces an at-fault or no-fault policy, you will need plenty of strong evidence to prove liability in a multi-vehicle crash.

At Local Accident Reports, our nationwide car accident lawyers can be instrumental in getting the compensation you are entitled to. We provide honest, reliable legal guidance to car accident victims throughout the United States. Our goal is to make sure that our clients receive fair and just compensation available for their damages.

We offer a free initial consultation to all prospective clients, and we operate on a contingency fee, which means that you pay no upfront fees unless we win your case. Call us to learn more about how we can help you recover financially and physically after a multi-vehicle accident. 

Determining Liability in a Multi-Vehicle Accident

How Do You Determine Who Is at Fault in a Multi-Vehicle Accident?The driver who caused the accident by failing to uphold their duty of care to behave in a safe and reasonable manner will most likely bear liability. It may appear clear to you which driver is responsible for inciting the multi-car crash, but you will need to back your claim up with actual evidence. Every multi-car collision is different, and investigators will have to conduct a thorough breakdown of what took place in order to render a decision that is fair to everyone involved. In any type of car accident, particularly in accidents involving three or more vehicles, it is not uncommon for the drivers involved to point fingers at one another in an attempt to shift blame onto someone else while not owning up to the role they may have played in the incident. In the meantime, other non-involved drivers and bystanders often claim to know which driver is responsible for the entire accident based only on what they witnessed. Unfortunately, investigations prove time and again that determining fault in a multi-car accident is almost never that simple.  

The Value of Eyewitnesses

Onlookers who witnessed the accident but were not actually involved in it are critical in these types of cases. They are almost always impartial observers whose accounts of the accident are based on exactly what they heard and saw. The drivers involved in the incident clearly have a vested interest in trying to assign blame to someone else. They may also think that the driver who caused the initial impact is liable for everything that came after because of their negligence. In a multi-vehicle accident, however, it is possible for more than one driver to have been negligent and share in liability for the collision. When multiple eyewitnesses corroborate one another, this strengthens a case that might have otherwise been tough to work through. Witnesses often provide critical information, so after a multi-car accident, it is vital to get any and all witnesses involved. Write down their contact details, such as their name and telephone number.  

The Importance of Involving Law Enforcement 

After any type of motor vehicle accident, you should always notify the police and request that an officer be sent to the scene. This ensures that an official police crash report will be filed. These reports are full of details that will help to determine liability later down the road. Police will document the facts of the crash, take their own pictures of the vehicle and the scene, and, if available, review any surveillance or traffic videos. The final report will contain a wealth of information and evidence that will help determine fault as well as the responding officer’s own conclusions about what happened and why. 

The Power of Qualified Legal Representation

If you plan on pursuing financial recovery for your injuries and other damages, you need to hire an experienced attorney. You probably don’t want to depend solely on an insurance carrier to decide who was at fault for your multi-vehicle accident. Not only does the nature of these accidents make accurately assigning fault difficult, but the insurance carrier is not going to have your best interests at heart. On the other hand, a reputable car accident attorney will work hard to achieve the best possible outcome on your behalf. With enough relevant evidence, they will be able to show how each of the drivers involved in the collision acted and what the direct consequences of those actions were. 

At-Fault and No-Fault States

In a no-fault state, each driver’s individual auto insurance policy covers their damages, usually via a personal injury protection policy. They are still eligible to file a claim against the negligent driver for any property damage.In an at-fault state, liability insurance covers any property damage or bodily injury to others, while collision and comprehensive insurance pay for any damage to the policyholder’s vehicle. Depending on where the accident took place, the state will recognize either pure contributory negligence or comparative negligence, which will affect both liability and the amount of compensation you ultimately receive.  

Speak With a Qualified Multi-Vehicle Accident Attorney Today

It is easy to feel lost when you are injured and overwhelmed following a multi-vehicle accident, and you have no idea how the fault for the crash is going to be determined. However, with the help of eyewitnesses, law enforcement officers, and an experienced multi-vehicle accident attorney, you can give your claim its best chance at success.  If you were injured in a multi-vehicle crash that you did not cause, you may qualify for financial compensation. Contact the nationwide car accident attorneys at Local Accident Reports as soon as possible. An insurance adjuster has already started working on your case, so call Local Accident Reports at (888) 657-1460 to schedule your free consultation today.  


Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this accident.

If you or a loved one were injured in this incident, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Having your case evaluated by a lawyer immediately will ensure your rights are protected. The first step is to request a police report, and we can do that for you. 

Contact us today at


to get the help you deserve. 

Local Accident Reports is here to provide you with valuable resources after you have been injured in an accident. In addition to your free police report, you can also schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys right now to find out more about pursuing compensation. If you any have questions at all about your legal rights following an accident, please don't hesitate to call. 

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Note: These posts are created solely for the use of Local Accident Reports. We have not verified the information in these posts as the information is gathered from secondary sources. If you have personal knowledge that the information contained in these posts is inaccurate, please contact Local Accident Reports immediately so we can make the necessary corrections or remove the story.

Disclaimer: We are providing this information to the general public as a resource to use in the event you or a family member are injured in a similar incident. Every effort is put forth to honor the victims of accidents, and hope the information presented helps others avoid the same type of accidents in the future. The photos depicted in these posts are not representative of the actual accident scene. Please contact Local Accident Reports at (888) 657-1460 to be connected with an attorney in your area who will answer any legal questions you may have.

Harvey Barbee is our chief content writer who also has nearly 15 years of experience as a practicing attorney. Combining his skillset as a strong writer along with his in-depth knowledge of the legal system, Harvey uses his talents to write informative pieces for law firms about a variety of topics that affect individuals. He enjoys helping people find creative solutions to their legal problems. When he is not writing or practicing law, Harvey enjoys golf, gardening, and spending time with his family in North Carolina.

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