Who Pays in a 3-Car Accident in Bakersfield?

Imagine you’re driving down a busy street in Bakersfield when suddenly, you find yourself caught in the middle of a three-car collision. The impact is jarring, and you’re left with injuries, property damage, and a whirlwind of questions about who is responsible for the accident. In the aftermath of a multi-vehicle crash, determining liability can be a complex process, but a car accident attorney can provide valuable assistance.

Common Causes of Multi-Vehicle Collisions

Several factors can contribute to multi-vehicle accidents, including driver negligence, vehicle malfunctions, and poorly maintained roads. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Reckless lane changes
  • Drunk or impaired driving
  • Fatigue or drowsy driving
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Road construction or hazards
  • Mechanical failures or defects
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Aggressive driving or road rage
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Poorly maintained vehicles

Determining Liability in a 3-Car Accident in Bakersfield

California is a fault accident state, meaning that the party responsible for causing the accident is also liable for the resulting damages. In a three-car accident, liability can be more challenging to determine, as multiple parties may share fault.

For example, say that a driver fails to stop in time and rear-ends the vehicle in front of them, causing that vehicle to collide with the one ahead. The initial driver who caused the first rear-end collision is typically found liable for the entire accident.

In some cases, two or more drivers may share responsibility for the accident. For example, if one driver is speeding and another makes an improper lane change, causing a collision that involves a third vehicle, both at-fault drivers may be held liable for the damages incurred by the third driver.

When liability is not immediately apparent, a thorough investigation by law enforcement, insurance companies, and legal professionals may be necessary to gather evidence and determine fault. This process may involve analyzing police reports, interviewing witnesses, and reconstructing the accident scene to establish a clear picture of how the collision occurred. In some cases, expert testimony from accident reconstruction specialists may be required.

California Comparative Negligence Laws

California follows a pure comparative negligence rule, which means that even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, your awarded compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 30% responsible for the accident and the total damages are $100,000, you would be entitled to recover $70,000.

If you are accused of causing the accident, working with a car accident attorney can help protect your interests and right to compensation. An attorney can thoroughly investigate the accident, gather evidence to support your claim, and help prove the liability of the other two drivers involved in the collision.

Trust Rodriguez & Associates to Help You Seek Justice

If you’ve been involved in a 3-car accident in Bakersfield, an attorney can provide you with the resources and dedication that you need to navigate your claim. At Rodriguez & Associates, our car accident attorneys have the expertise to thoroughly investigate your case, determine liability, and fight for your best interests. Contact us today at (661) 777-7575 for a free consultation and let us guide you through the legal process.