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3-vehicle collision , Hit on rear end of my vehicle - Identifying fault

Discussion in 'Auto Accidents, Injuries' started by korrao, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. korrao

    korrao Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello All,

    I was driving on the state highway and was at a speed of 40-45 MPH , I was driving in the left lane for more than 20-25 minutes and I have observed a car in my back in my rear view mirror 5 mins ago but after that did not check the rear view mirror because traffic was very dense i was completely concentrating on my driving and was driving in the same left lane , All of a sudden the car in my back that i have observed in my rare view mirror 5 mins ago hit me hard in my rear, the impact was clearly from the middle of my back bumper to the driver side and I could clearly see the marks on my back bumper but major damage was at the driver side , for the car that hit me it was from the middle of the front bumper to the passenger side and it was fully dented and probably an air bag was deployed on his passenger side , Due to the impact of the collision I was pushed forward and though i applied the break very hard i had hit car in front of me on the rear end passenger side.

    Immediately after the accident the back car driver who hit me had came out running and apologized to me though I did not speak a single word to him because i was in severe shoulder pain and he clearly told me that he was very sorry for what happened and he really does not know how it happened . Emergency vehicle came before the cop came and they were attending to me , cop was talking to other 2 drivers and he came and asked me what happened , i told him that i was hit in my rear and due to the impact of collision i was pushed forward and hit the car in front of me , he had asked me if i was changing lanes and I clearly told him that I was not changing lanes and was driving in the same lane but he told me that based on how he looked he anticipated that i might be changing lanes but i told him that i was not changing lanes and i was in the same lane.

    I called up my insurance and informed of the accident and send them the photos that i took at the accident site and they told me that they would run an investigation and determine the fault but I had a strong case.

    Today the Police report came in and I was completely shocked looking at report the driver in the back car who hit me told that he was in the left lane and my vehicle changed the lane and at the same time traffic slowed down and he did not have enough time to slow down , investigation at scene says that all the 3 vehicles were travelling in the left lane and as the vehicle at my back attempted to slow down due to traffic while at the same time my vehicle was attempting to change lane to the left and because of my improper lane change and my back vehicle following closely , my back vehicle struck me in the rear also causing my vehicle to strike the vehicle in front of me.

    I am completely shocked & devastated because I was not changing Lanes and I was driving in the same lane for more than 20 minutes but the report says i was changing lanes , I am totally confused and demolished with this because report did not account my fact that i was not changing the lane , Can you please guide me on how to proceed with this

    Also as per the report can you please let me know who would be the fault driver
     
  2. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Your description isn't any better here than in the other forum.

    The police accident report doesn't mean much. The insurance companies will determine fault by looking at the totality of the circumstances, including the damage to the vehicles.

    There is nothing more you can do about it.
     
  3. korrao

    korrao Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am sorry that I was not clear , I will try to explain in brief again on the description of accident

    I was driving in the left lane on state highway ( not changing lanes) and was hit on the rear bumper ( middle of the bumper to driver side end ) , the car that hit me in the rear had damages to its front bumper ( middle of front bumper to passenger end , air-bad deployed) and due to the impact of collision though i applied break I was pushed forward and hit the car in front of me in its rear passenger side.

    The driver who hit me told police that he was in the left lane and my vehicle changed the lane and at the same time traffic slowed down and he did not have enough time to slow down.

    I told the police that I got hit on my rear and was pushed into the car in front of me , Cop asked me if I was changing lane but I told cop that I was not changing lanes and was driving in the same lane


    Police Investigation at the Incident says- All the 3 vehicles were travelling in the left lane and as the vehicle3 attempted to slow down due to traffic while at the same time my vehicle was attempting to change lane to the left and because of my improper lane change and vehicle3 following closely , vehicle3 struck my car in the rear also causing my vehicle to strike the car in front of me. I am confused with this report because report did not account my fact that i was not changing the lane.

    Can you please let me know based on the report who is at fault and also if there is any thing that i could do if i disagree with the report.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Only a judge or a jury, after a trial has transpired can determine or apportion fault.

    The police don't determine fault or blame, insofar as civil lability is concerned.

    The police issue citations, if necessary, to address the criminal/traffic law.

    Those citations are subsequently addressed in traffic court.

    I've seen a person(s) receive a traffic citation to receive an acquittal in traffic court, only to be adjudicated guilty in civil court.

    I suggest you seek additional guidance from your automobile insurer or discuss the matter with a couple local accident attorneys.
     
  5. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Why are you confused? What you say is in the police report is that all three vehicles were in the left lane so no one changed lanes as far as the police were concerned.

    However, it doesn't really matter what the police think, it matters what the insurance companies do. From your description of the accident it is the fault of the guy in the back. You are not that clear in your description of the damage but more than likely the physical condition of the vehicles will support your story.

    You should be talking to your insurance company about this. I think it's probably a bit early to be speaking to attorneys, with all due respect to the esteemed Judge.
     
  6. korrao

    korrao Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Sir, Thank you very much for your reply , but police report says as below

    "All the 3 vehicles were travelling in the left lane and as the vehicle3 attempted to slow down due to traffic while at the same time vehicle2 (my vehicle) was attempting to change lane to the left and because of vehicle2 improper lane change and vehicle3 following closely , vehicle3 struck vehicle2(my vehicle ) in the rear also causing vehicle2( my vehicle ) to strike vehicle1 in rear.

    I sent the police report to my insurance company today and spoke to the Adjuster and he has informed me that they would run their investigation and keep me updated and they could not get guarantee any outcome but based on the police report it presents as my fault and advised me to go for amendment of the report.
     
  7. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Okay I'm tired of explaining this to you in two different forums.

    The police do not determine fault and that is a poorly written police accident report. These reports are supposed to report the facts not make guesses as to what happened.

    Your insurance company will determine fault based upon their investigation including looking at the damage to the vehicles. Forget about the police report. End of story.
     
  8. korrao

    korrao Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Sir,

    Thank you very much for your advice, I am really sorry that I had posted in it different forums but I am bit worried and this is the first time I met with an accident so trying to understand how system/process works.

    I agree with you sir , police report only reflects what the vehicle-3 driver had said and not mine and that is my biggest concern but as per your suggestion i will leave it up to the insurance to
    determine fault.

    From my end as my insurance suggested i will try for amendment of the report , I will update this thread when i have any other information
     
  9. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    An insurance company will know that unless the police officer was a witness to the accident (or interviewed a witness and documented that) the statement about the lane change is conjecture and means nothing.

    The telling evidence is the damage to the rear of your car and the front of the third car.

    By all means make an attempt to get the report amended but it won't mean much either way.
     
  10. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Yes, do that. It's always good to get information on dispositions of these situations.
     

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