A recent crash on the Atlantic City Expressway involved four cars, and resulted in several serious injuries, reports NBC Philadelphia. Who's liable in a multi-car crash such as this one?
The four cars involved in this particular incident were a Toyota, a dump truck, a Ford, and a Honda. According to the police, the Toyota first rear-ended the dump truck, then overturned. The Ford and Honda then both hit the Toyota, reports NBC Philadelphia. So far, no one has been charged in the accident.
How does determining liability in a multi-car crash in Pennsylvania work? Here's a general breakdown:
Pennsylvania is a Comparative Negligence State
Pennsylvania follows the law of comparative negligence when allocating fault. What this means is that when there is a multi-car crash, each party alleged at fault in the claim is assigned a percentage, reflecting their contribution to the accident.
These percentages directly correlate to the amount of liability for which each party is then responsible. For example, if the total amount of damages to a multi-car, multi-party crash is $10,000, and the court determines that three parties are responsible at 30%, 40% and 30%, then each respective party would then have to pay $3,000, $4,000, and $3,000.
Fair Share Act in Pennsylvania
Turning to Pennsylvania's comparative negligence laws, the Keystone State has recently amended their Fair Share Act to require responsible parties to only need to pay for their proportionate share of the judgment. This means that if one party doesn't have enough money to pay for his share, the debtors will not start collecting from other responsible party members.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Most notably, a party member who is liable for 60% or more of the total apportioned liability is still responsible for the full amount.
Liability for a multi-car crash is ultimately a complicated issue. If you've been involved in a multi-car crash and have questions about how your fault will be calculated, contact a local, experienced car accident attorney who can help.