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Who is at fault in a chain reaction car accident?

Some car accidents may make it easy for investigators or injured parties to pinpoint a negligent party. Yet, there are other times when this may be more difficult. One scenario that can cause confusion among Missouri drivers is who is at fault when a chain reaction car accident occurs.

A chain reaction car accident is typically thought to be when three or more cars or other vehicles are involved in an accident that usually occurs when one rear-ends another, who then in turn gets rear-ended by another and so on. One rule of thumb for determining culpability is the law that drivers must maintain a safe speed in order to be able to stop before colliding with anyone, regardless of what occurs in front of them. This can become complicated if there are unsafe road conditions or weather issues that make conditions hazardous for maintaining the speed limit.

If proving negligence seems as if it may be difficult, keep in mind there are different types of negligence. Comparative negligence may be common in a chain reaction accident, and it requires each party to pay for the damages in which they were responsible. Contributory negligence is when a party who is partly responsible can't collect damages for the accident.

Even though a chain reaction car accident in Missouri may prove daunting, there is help for motorists who want answers about who is at fault. Fault can be difficult to decide at times, but it is not impossible to prove. Anyone involved in a car accident that meets the criteria of a chain reaction accident may benefit from understanding how culpability works and how that may help in the pursuit of damages.

Source:, "60-Car Pileup Raises Liability Questions", Deanne Katz, July 30, 2014

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