VIC Car Accident with 3 Cars - Who is at Fault?

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27 March 2017
So on the weekend in banked up main-road traffic, my partner and I were sitting stationary in our Madza 3. A red Subaru Impreza was in front of us and in front of them was a blue Mazda hatchback. I'm unsure if we were at a red light at the time, or simply stuck in stationary traffic. At a guess, I'd say we were sitting approx. 30-40cm away from the Subaru. I'm unsure how far away the red Subaru was sitting to the blue hatchback.

As the red Subaru took off, we accelerated as well but my partner and I both looked away at the exact wrong second and only realised the traffic had stopped again (bumper-to-bumper) when we rear-ended the Subaru. We anticipate we were going maybe 10km/hr as we had barely had any time to get any speed up.

Only after we'd pulled over to exchange insurance information did we realise the red Subaru had hit a third car in front of them - the blue hatchback. After my partner and I asked if everyone was okay (we anticipated they were as it was no more than a fender bender), we all took photos of the damage and exchanged information.

I am unsure if the red Subaru we hit said he was insured, but we advised him that we were (AAMI). The blue hatchback advised he was insured (RACV). We have always been of the understanding that the law states whoever hits the car directly in front of them is at fault for not keeping a safe distance.

On that point, I wanted to ask if we were at fault for the damage to both cars or just the red Subaru? We don't accept liability for the blue hatchback as we had no control over how close the red Subaru chose to sit in traffic to any of the other cars in front. If the red Subaru had kept a safe distance when we accidentally hit them, they would have hit nothing but air.

Are we at fault for the damage to both cars, given we caused the "incident"? Or just for hitting the red Subaru because we didn't keep a safe distance from them?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Well-Known Member
31 October 2015

You are responsible for hitting the red Subaru in front 'failing to maintain safe distance' as you said. You may be found to have attributed to the damage to the blue Mazda. Yes the Red Subaru failed to maintain safe distance but they were pushed into the car in front. AAMI should be able to advise you on your responsibly.
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