Auto Insurance Claims/who is liable

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Question
I was in a 3 car accident. Car 1 was in the right lane I was in the left lane. The right lane ends in a turning lane, and there is another turn lane after the first. Car 1 went through both turn lanes and a bike lane to merge 5-10 feet in front of my car. I honked at him, he slammed on his brakes and came to a complete stop. I barely stopped and was struck from behind, that impact pushed me into car 1. The driver of car 1 was charged with neg driving in the 2nd degree. The driver of car 3 was not charged nor was I. Is the driver of car 1 at fault for this accident?

Answer
This is a trick question.  The only way liability can be determined is by a jury.  I could argue that all parties share in the fault.  I could also argue that only car 3 is at fault.  

Unfortunately, there is really no way to tell you who is at fault without a super thorough hearing of how the accident occurred, like would happen in a court.  The proximate cause does seem to be the guy changing lanes unsafely, but the guy behind you was following you too closely or not paying attention if he could not stop.   

Negligence can be based in failure to keep a proper lookout, failure to hit your brakes in a timely manner, failure to keep a safe distance, etc.  I can see where the argument could be made for various negligence theories.

I'm sorry I couldn't be of better assistance.

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Justin Petty

Expertise

Challenge me! I promise that I will provide you with the most honest answer I can muster, and I will base it on nearly 20 years of complex claims experience. My strength is shooting it straight and seeing through BS. I do not bluff and I can tell when somebody is. I've handled claims in almost every State in the U.S. and adjusted claims and consulted attorneys and CEO's on recovery and special claims tactics for over a decade. I am the founder and President of Petty Details, LLC. We provide the highest quality claim services to insurance companies, attorneys and individuals all exactly in the same way, by paying attention to the details and doing the right thing.

Experience

Nearly 20 years of combined claim company management, litigation, all lines adjusting, claim auditing, damage assessment, subrogation, small claims, tort recovery, collection, skip-tracing, tactical investigations, and contribution claim recovery experience across the United States of America.

Organizations
NASP (National Association of Subrogation Professionals) AllExperts.com (Auto Insurance Expert) Diminished Value Appraisers Group (LinkedIn)

Publications
10 years experience in writing and developing technical claims correspondence for litigation and unique scenarios at insurance companies and as a consultant to attorneys assisting with legal briefs and research. 42 published articles relating to auto insurance and claims. Self Published e-books entitled "How Much is My Injury Worth" and "Diminished Value - How Do I Get Paid?".

Education/Credentials
School of hard knocks, 3 years college, NO DEGREE, years of real world experience running a claims service company and adjusting claims for carriers. Speaks English and Spanish, Limited Portuguese & Italian.

Awards and Honors
Platinum Author (EzineArticles.com) All Lines Adjuster (TX, 1998 - 2008) TX Public Adjuster (2009 - 2011)

Past/Present Clients
State Farm Insurance, Endeavor GA, MileMeter Ins., American Recreational Markets, Gainsco Ins. Co., Safeway Ins., Home State County Mutual Insurance, Old American County Mutual Insurance, FCCI, Farm Bureau, Liberty Mutual, and Pronto General Agency, LTD just to name a few! On top of insurance companies and attorneys, I have personally helped thousands of accident victims with the difficult and stressful process of navigating their claim to a successful resolution.

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