When one car rear-ends another car in an accident, determining who is at fault is usually not too complicated. While there are exceptions, in most situations the car that rear-ends the other is at fault.
However, chain reaction accidents are more complex because they involve multiple vehicles.
What is a chain reaction rear-end accident?
A chain reaction accident occurs when one accident directly causes another. In a chain reaction rear-end accident that involves three cars, the last car rear-ends the car in the middle. The force of that accident propels the middle car into the front car, causing another rear-end accident.
Who is to blame?
The vehicle that causes the damages and injuries is at fault for an accident, so typically one car that hits the other is to blame. However, in the chain reaction described above, even though the middle car hit the front car, the middle car is not at fault for rear-ending the front car. The last car in the line that rear-ended the middle car is at fault for the entire chain reaction.
Why are they to blame?
In a multi-car accident, the car whose negligence caused the initial crash is at fault. If the last car had not rear-ended the middle car, the middle car would not have rear-ended the first car. The last car caused both collisions and is responsible for all damages.
Chain reaction collisions involving multiple vehicles can be extremely dangerous and deadly, especially on high-speed roads like highways and turnpikes. It is important to follow at a safe distance so you have more time to react to the unexpected.