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Three car fender bender

by Brent
(Reynoldsburg, OH)

At a stop light going straight. Car in front stomped on brakes. Middle car hits front car.

Rear car (me) hits middle car. Front car does not want damage repaired. Lady in middle car is claiming I am liable for both the damage on the front of her car and the rear of her car.

She is claiming she didn't hit the front car, that I pushed her into the car. I don't believe this is true. Aren't there safe distance following rules that negate her argument?

Where even in a rear end accident you must maintain a safe distance behind the car in front? Especially at low speeds, less than 5mph, would she be liable for her damage on her front bumper?

Answer to three car fender bender:
If you hit her from behind and pushed her into the car in front, as she state. You will be liable for all of her damage.

If you can show, with evidence (either a police report or a witness) stating that she hit the first vehicle and then you hit her, then you are responsible for the damages to the back of her car. She will be responsible for the front end damage.

Regarding the “safe distance rules” they apply to the vehicle following. You have some control of what happens ahead, not behind. They may not be on your side. The only question here is, why did the first vehicle stopped? – if the stop because of the light, then they were doing the right thing. It is very hard to dispute any liability on a rear end collision.

Good Luck,

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