Towe & Fitzpatrick, PLLC

Over $8,000,000 in verdicts and settlements in past 3 years.
More than 60 years of combined experience.

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The process of determining fault in multi-car crashes

Residents of Montana probably know about the legal concept of negligence, which comes into play in motor vehicle crashes. It can be hard to determine who was negligent in a crash, especially when it involves three or more vehicles. Below is a brief outline of what the process might involve.

First, it may help to consider a simple scenario: a chain reaction of two rear-end collisions. Driver A is hit from behind by Driver B, who was hit by Driver C. If Drivers B and C were being negligent, such as by speeding or following too closely to the vehicle in front, then Driver A may hold both responsible. Though Driver C’s car did not actually hit Driver A’s, it still contributed to the impact.

If Driver B was obeying all the traffic rules, then Driver C will be held liable for the damage caused to Driver A’s car even though the medium was Driver B’s car. In these situations, it’s not just Driver A who can file a claim, of course. Driver B, even if partially negligent, may file a claim against Driver C.

Gathering evidence is crucial to determining fault. This evidence can include the findings of the police and crash investigators as well as testimony from passers-by or car passengers who witnessed the crash.

Before they file a claim, victims of motor vehicle accidents may want to see a lawyer. Personal injury lawyers might have a network of crash investigators, medical experts and other third parties who may help strengthen a case. Lawyers might also provide free evaluations of cases under Montana’s comparative negligence rule. If a case holds up to this rule, then victims may have the lawyer speak on their behalf at the negotiation table or in the courtroom.