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I was involved in a crash-for-cash multi-car collision - how will liability be determined?

I was driving a hired van down a narrow road in the countryside, third in a line of four vehicles, at approximately 50mph. Suddenly, the first car in the line braked heavily, causing an accordion effect in the traffic. The car directly in front of me and myself followed suit. While braking I was struck from behind by another car, which overpowered my ABS and sent me skidding into the back of the car in front. The three drivers in the crash all exited our vehicles. The driver who caused the crash by standing on his brakes (but was not hit) then sped off. Given the shock, no one got his number plate. How will liability most likely be sorted in this case? What is standard procedure for determining liability in a three care scenario and will it matter I was hit in the rear before I hit the car in front as we were all still moving at some speed? I'm wondering if I should get a solicitor as I didn't take insurance on the hire van.

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You would need to prove you were hit in the rear first, prior to you being pushed into the car in front. This sounds like a crash for cash scenario and the vehicle at the very front would be the person most suspect. You will find it very hard to defend, but I would present your case to the insurers fully explaining what happened. Their is no standard procedure for determining liability. You should drive at a distance that allows you to stop in the distance you can see. If you cannot, you're liable. If you have been hit in the rear, and forced into the car in front, you will need both witness statements and a causation report to corroborate you opinion as to what happened. It would then be up to your insurer to settle claims made and advise on liability unless you can prove otherwise.
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