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Multi-vehicle accidents make for complicated cases

In a typical traffic accident, one driver is distracted and as a result two vehicles collide. It's relatively easy to sort out who is legally responsible for the injuries caused from this kind of car accident. But many traffic accidents are not so simple.

Recently near Nashville, three people were injured in a three-vehicle accident involving a passenger car, a pickup truck and a utility truck. None of the injuries were life-threatening, police said.

According to police, the passenger car was waiting to make a left turn when the pickup truck rear-ended it, pushing the car into traffic. The car then crashed into the utility truck.

Personal injury lawsuits that stem from car accidents are based on the legal theory of negligence. A negligent driver is one who has failed to exercise the same duty of care that a reasonable driver would under the same or similar circumstances, and someone is injured as a result. But sorting out who was negligent and where blame lies can be very difficult in a multi-vehicle accident.

When Driver A crashes into a car, forcing Driver B to hit Driver C, it's not clear that Driver B did anything wrong. But if both Driver A and Driver B were being careless, which one of them holds more of the blame?

State laws have different ways of dealing with these issues. A few states won't let injured people recover any damages if they shared even 1 percent of the blame. Tennessee and most other states have complicated systems for dividing up the blame and dividing up legal responsibility for any injuries caused by the accident. For that reason, it is very important for anyone who was involved in a multi-vehicle accident to make sure the circumstances of the accident are thoroughly investigated.

Source: News Channel 5, "Three Injured, Traffic Backed Up After Crash In Gallain," March 28, 2013

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