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Determining Fault in a Multiple Car Accident

When you are involved in an accident that involves 3 or more vehicles, it might be confusing to determine who is at fault. In most states, there are simply rules in place to determine who is at fault, but it comes down to a simple problem of who caused the pileup to begin. Determining who is at fault is really a simple matter, even in a multi-car accident, and can be decided by asking all of the drivers involved one simple question.

Who is at fault is almost always the person in the rear of the accident. What happens is that one driver runs into the back of another one, and that person's car is forced forward into the car in front of them. Since only the car that started the chain reaction is at fault, they would be charged with the entire accident.

In some states, especially those which use Personal Injury Protection, the fault in an accident may be divided between two or more of the drivers involved. In this situation, the amount of fault will be determined by the police officer who writes the report or by the insurance adjusters, negotiating for an optimum solution. For example, one person may be deemed to be 80% at fault, while another driver takes the remaining 20% of the blame. It is possible for several people to share in the fault, and everyone involved may share some of the responsibility.

If you were deemed to be at fault in the accident, you have the right to challenge the decision. Contact your insurance company and explain your position on the matter. If you are able to make a convincing point, your amount of fault could be reduced or completely thrown out of the equation. Before you challenge the ruling, though, make sure that you have a valid point, because trying to pass the blame on when it is really your fault could land you in court on fraud charges.

About the Author: is a writer for US Insurance Agents. She works hard to help provide a fresh perpsective to insurance, personal finance and related topics.