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Determining Liability in Multiple Car Collisions

Determining Liability in Multiple Car Collisions

Many car accidents involve more than two vehicles, which can make it difficult to determine which party or parties were at fault. Multi-car crashes occur on a regular basis, particularly on interstates and highways. In some cases, a multiple vehicle crash may be due to dense fog, slick roads, heavy rain, or other conditions. Determining liability in multiple car collisions can be difficult, which can understandably result in stress for those involved. Those who have been in an accident involving three, four, or more vehicles may want to consider visiting with an experienced car accident attorney for legal guidance.

Common Causes of Multiple Car Collisions

Chain-reaction crashes are those in which an initial collision causes several other vehicles behind it to crash into each other. While this is the most common scenario, there are many other reasons that several cars may be involved in an accident. Some of the most common causes of multi-vehicle collisions include:

  • Driving at high speeds
  • Distracted motorists following another vehicle too closely
  • Failure to stop at a red light or adhere to traffic laws
  • Trucking company drivers who are medically unfit
  • Deliberate road rage
  • Tailgating
  • Alcohol, Drugs, or other driver impairment
  • Driver fatigue

There is no question that far fewer multiple car collisions would occur if motorists avoided distractions, followed traffic laws, and kept their complete attention on the roadways.

Types of Car Accidents Involving Multiple Vehicles

While multi-vehicle accidents may occur in many ways, there are some common scenarios in which these types of crashes occur.

Rear-end Crashes

Rear-end or “chain-reaction” collisions occur when one vehicle reduces speed or comes to an abrupt stop, causing the vehicle behind it to crash into the rear of the vehicle. The force of the crash propels the vehicle that was struck to collide into the vehicle in front of it. This type of crash can involve many cars depending on the length of the chain of vehicles.

Highway and Interstate Crashes

Speed limits on interstates and highways in most states are 70 or 75 mph. When vehicles are traveling at high speeds, there is little time to react to changing traffic and road conditions. It is easy for what begins as a two-car collision to become one involving many vehicles as cars attempting to stop or move into another lane crash into each other.

Intersection Collisions

Intersection collisions often involve several vehicles. One car may attempt to make a left-hand turn and be struck by an oncoming vehicle, which can result in cars behind that vehicle crashing into each other. When one or more motorists enter an intersection after failing to stop at a red light or stop sign meant to control the flow of cars, it can result in a multi-car collision.

Determining liability in multiple car collisions often takes considerable time and effort. These types of accidents often result in serious injuries for those involved. If you have suffered injury as the result of a multi-car crash you may want to consider speaking with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney.

Accident Investigation

When an accident involving multiple vehicles occurs, it is usually investigated by law enforcement and multiple insurance companies. The car insurance companies of all the drivers involved generally participate in the investigation to determine who was at fault. Once this is determined, the at-fault motorist is typically responsible for the damages other motorists incurred.

Police reports, medical records, and videos or photos of the crash are often used in investigating multiple vehicle accidents. The insurance companies will contact eyewitnesses and inspect all the vehicles involved for damage. All this together helps the insurance companies’ investigators determine which motorist caused the initial accident that resulted in the multi-vehicle crash. These types of accidents are often highly complex in nature, however a capable car accident attorney can often help those who suffered injuries determine which motorist was at fault.

Consider Speaking with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Any car accident can leave victims with serious injuries. Those that involve numerous vehicles can be even more devastating, leaving those involved with severe or life-threatening injuries. There may be other damages including those to the vehicle. Car accident lawyers who are skilled in this area of the law are often helpful in determining liability in multiple car collisions. It is also important to seek legal guidance so that victims are compensated fairly for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs. Car insurance companies do not play fair when it comes to settlements, which is why it is critical to work with an experienced attorney.

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