Who’s at Fault in a Three-Way Car Accident?

Car accidents | March 18, 2021

Any car accident has the potential to become complicated when it comes to proving liability. However, determining liability for a car accident is crucial, particularly when it comes to ensuring that compensation is paid to any injury or property damage victim. However, what happens when an accident involves three different parties? This can further complicate an already complex situation.

Here, we want to discuss how fault is determined in a three-way car accident. We also want to discuss whether or not it will be beneficial for those in these situations to seek assistance from a Chicago car accident attorney.
Determining Fault After a Three-Way Car Accident

What is an Example of a Three-Way Accident?

Three-way car accidents can happen in a variety of ways. However, for the sake of this article, let’s suppose that one driver slows down at a four-way stop but does not come to a complete stop. Suppose this driver enters into the intersection only to be struck by another speeding driver who runs another stop sign at the intersection. What happens if this collision then causes the first vehicle to slam into yet another car at another stop sign at the intersection?

Now, we have a complex three-way accident where it will be tough to determine fault.

How do Insurance Carriers Determine Liability?

Insurance carriers are going to determine fault after conducting a fairly thorough investigation into the incident. However, insurance carriers are not the only parties that may be investigating the situation. It is very likely that a crash will be investigated by law enforcement and possibly even lawyers for multiple victims.

Some of the types of evidence gathered in these situations could include:

  • Video surveillance from nearby homes or businesses
  • Dash camera footage
  • Statements from eyewitnesses to the crash
  • Police reports
  • Vehicle “black box” data
  • Mobile device data
  • Photograph taken at the scene of the crash

Comparative Fault in Illinois

Even those who are partially responsible for a car accident in Illinois may still be able to recover compensation. Illinois operates under what is called a “modified comparative fault” system. This means that an injury victim can collect damages for their claim so long as they are not 51% or more at fault for the incident. However, the total amount of compensation a victim receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.

For example, suppose a person is injured in a car crash and sustains $100,000 worth of damages. However, suppose a jury determines that this person was 20% responsible for the incident. In this case, the victim would receive $80,000 in total compensation to account for their percentage of fault.

How do You Challenge an Insurance Carrier Determination?

If you have been involved in a three-way collision, you should most certainly ensure that fault is properly determined. In order to do so, it may be necessary for you to work with a skilled Chicago car accident lawyer. An attorney can bring the required resources to your case to conduct a complete and independent investigation in order to ensure you are being treated fairly. An attorney will also handle all communication and negotiation with the insurance carriers involved.

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