One evening a couple of months ago, our niece called with a claim problem. It seems that her sister was involved in a collision on a bridge over Tampa Bay. She had stopped for a traffic jam and was rear-ended by a limousine transporting two passengers to the airport. About two seconds later she felt a second impact, and a moment after that a third.

Any of us who have been in the business very long know the routine: the innocent first vehicle owner collects 100 percent, the second vehicle collects 100 percent of the damage to the rear of his vehicle and one-third to half of the front end damage, the third car gets about the same, and the fourth vehicle pays 100 percent of the damage to the rear of the third car, and somewhere around a third to a half of the remaining damage. At least, that is the theory of how it is supposed to work, if everyone is honest.

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