When an accident involves two vehicles, it often isn’t difficult to determine which driver is mostly at fault. But when you have multiple cars that have been involved in an accident, it can be challenging to determine who is at fault and who is liable for the accident. The initial driver who caused the accident will share fault, of course, but there could be other people who were involved that share some responsibility, such as a distracted driver in the chain of affected vehicles.
These are chain reaction accidents that occur when one vehicle crashes into another, and the impact causes that car to crash into another vehicle. Many factors can affect how many other vehicles will then be involved after the third car has been involved. Accidents that occur on highways, for example, can easily turn into multi-car accidents. In fact, some car accidents that have occurred on US highways have involved over 100 cars, and some of the worst have involved over 150 vehicles.
A lot of people are taught when they are teenagers that if they hit a car in front of them because they were too close, then they will automatically have to pay damages to that driver. But the courts look at these cases individually rather than make judgments based on blanket statements.
The first person who initiated the accident is usually found at fault, but there are other people who can share fault in the accident. Perhaps there was someone later in the chain who could have stopped the accident, and any other reasonable person in their situation would have done whatever it takes to prevent themselves from being struck, but due to their negligence, they were unable to prevent a continuation of the crash. A driver who is found to be intoxicated or distracted could also be held partially liable for the crash. Or if it’s found that another car was speeding or otherwise not exercising a reasonable duty of care, then a percentage of fault for the accident can fall to them.
Because there are multiple parties that will be filing claims, these cases can get very difficult very quickly, and proving liability becomes quite complex. It behooves you to reach out to a personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and determine whether or not you share any fault of the accident.
Immediately dial 911 and let them know that you have been involved in a multivehicle accident. The important thing that you need to do is check on other passengers in your vehicle and assess yourself for any injuries. If you are unable to call yourself, then find a witness who can dial 911, let them know about the accident and that there were multiple vehicles involved.
It is important to be careful that what you say to the police about what you believe caused the accident because it could jeopardize your claim before there’s been a chance for an investigation. Instead, when the police talk to you focus on stating just the facts that you remember leading up to the accident and not any superfluous information or speculation. Helpful information includes:
● How many impacts did you feel?
● What do you remember hearing before the accident?
● What do you remember seeing before the impact?
The steps you take after a multivehicle accident are critical for your health and safety as well as for your personal injury case. First, assess yourself as well as any passengers in your vehicle for injuries. Bear in mind that you could be experiencing shock and that there may be symptoms that arise later after your adrenaline levels have gone down.
Safety and preventing additional injuries and accidents are crucial. However, the police will need to conduct an investigation into the cause of the accident. So you must move your vehicle out of the way of traffic only if you are on a dangerous road, such as a highway, or obstructing traffic.
Tensions can be high after a multivehicle accident, especially when victims are feeling very angry. The police are going to get a statement from each of the drivers involved. You should only tell them exactly what you remember leading up to the accident. Do not speculate on what you think that caused the crash. It is also important not to apologize or accept responsibility. Instead, call a personal injury attorney and have them conduct an investigation into your case. The side of the road is not the courthouse, and it should not become one. If you need to separate yourself from the other drivers, then you may do so but do not leave the area.
The police will conduct an investigation into the cause of the crash, and usually, the fault goes towards the person who initiated the crash. However, if it is found that any of the other drivers involved were intoxicated or otherwise under the influence of drugs or alcohol, distracted or speeding, then they can be held liable for their contribution to the accident. It is important that you do not speculate or make any assumptions of who the cause of the accident or what the other drivers were up to. And when you give your testimony to the police, only tell what you remember. Going into what you believe caused the accident could hurt your case before it even has a chance to be heard before a judge or jury.
Because these accidents involve multiple people with multiple damages, these can take a little longer. All the injured victims need to settle at the same time, and one insurance company is not going to settle with one of the victims but not the others, usually. This is why it’s important to speak with a car accident lawyer about your case who has years of experience in successfully winning the compensation that their clients deserve.
A car crash involving multiple vehicles that can occur in the following situation:
● When a vehicle approaching from the rear is speeding
● When a driver is distracted by their cell phone or something else
● If any of the drivers are intoxicated or under the influence of other drugs
● Inexperienced or new drivers, such as teenagers
● Dangerous road conditions such as ice and water
A lot of people think that they cannot hire an attorney or a skilled one who is competent and will take their case seriously. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis which means that they do not get paid unless they win damages for their clients. In that case, their payment will be taken out of the client’s settlement. They fight hard for you to receive the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and a percentage of the award goes to them. So don’t delay in calling a personal injury attorney about your case.