Who Pays in a Three-Car Accident in Charlotte?

three-car accident

Being involved in an accident with one driver is tough enough. However, an accident involving three drivers gets even more complicated. In a three-car accident not only are the risks of injury higher, but it becomes harder to determine which driver is at fault. Determining who is at fault is crucial when determining who pays damages for the accident. Regardless of how many drivers were involved in an accident, you would need an experienced Charlotte auto accident lawyer to help you get damages.

Three-car accidents are often called chain reaction accidents because the accident is frequently started by two cars. Often, other cars join in, hence the name. It can also be called a pileup. Two-car accidents are dangerous on their own.

However, the severity of an accident could increase as more cars get involved. One of the reasons why more cars could get involved is the difficulty of stopping early enough. Also, depending on how serious the first crash is, debris and car parts could cause issues for other road users depending on how serious the first crash is.

What Causes a Three-Car Accident?

Some of the factors that result in a two-car accident could also cause a three-car accident. We’ll take a look at some of them in this section.

Distracted Driving

Numerous accidents are caused by drivers who are distracted by their phones, other occupants of the vehicle, or anything else. Three-car accidents are no different.

Flouting Traffic Rules

Disobeying traffic rules can lead to accidents. Drivers typically assume that other road users pay attention to these rules, but this is not always the case.


It’s always advisable to keep a healthy distance between your car and the one in front of you. This is because the driver could stop abruptly, or the car could develop mechanical faults. If you have been driving too closely, you may find it difficult to stop when this happens.

Cutting Lanes Recklessly

Make sure that you are clear when changing lanes. Recklessly switching lanes is the cause of numerous car accidents.

Who Is at Fault in a Three-Car Accident?

Deciding fault in a three-car accident can seem like an impossible task. When the chaos is over, the drivers could have forgotten who made the mistake that led to the crash. However, this can be easier if all the drivers agree on the way events unfold. If they do not, you may need help from professionals to establish fault.

Alternatively, all drivers involved in the accident could share the fault. So, how do you determine who is at fault in a three-car accident? This section goes into more detail.

In most car accidents, fault can be proven if the victim can show that the at-fault driver had neglected a duty of care. In a three-car accident, though, there may be more than one fault party. Therefore, determining fault will depend on the specific circumstances. We’ll illustrate with two scenarios.

Imagine that a car (called vehicle A) suddenly stops to avoid an object. However, because a vehicle (vehicle B) is driving too closely, it cannot stop in time to avoid vehicle A and ends up running into it in a rear-end collision. Vehicle C, also driving too closely to vehicle B, also hits it, resulting in a crash. In this case, both vehicles B and C are responsible for the first and second crashes.

In the second scenario, imagine that vehicle A changes lanes suddenly. This does not give vehicle B enough time to stop, so it hits vehicle A. The accident’s impact causes vehicle A to enter another lane where it hits vehicle C. Vehicle A is at fault in this case.

Does Contributory Negligence Affect a Three-Car Accident?

North Carolina is one of a few states that still practice contributory negligence in personal injury law. This means that if you are partially responsible for an accident, you do not get any compensation. Consequently, your best chance of receiving any compensation in a three-car accident is if you have no fault.

Get Help From Accident Lawyers in Charlotte

Anybody would be affected by a car accident, especially when it involves three cars. Therefore, proving fault becomes more difficult, and one would need an experienced auto accident lawyer for it. With over 50 years of experience working with personal injury victims, hiring Ted A. Greve and Associates is the smart thing to do.

We understand how difficult it must be for you, and we do our best to take away all the legal burden. This frees up time and energy that can be channeled towards healing. Reach out to our auto accident lawyers in Charlotte today for a free consultation. What’s more? You don’t get to pay unless we win your case.