Who is Responsible in a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident?

There are 13,000 injuries caused by multi-vehicle car accidents in the U.S. every year. These types of accidents can cause severe injuries and be fatal depending on the type of vehicles that are involved in the accident and how it occurs. If you have been involved in a multi-vehicle car accident and have suffered injuries or other damage, you may be eligible to recover compensation. If you are ready to file a car accident claim and explore your options for recovering compensation, contact your personal injury lawyer today to discuss your case.

What is a Chain Reaction Car Accident?

A multi-vehicle car accident, or a chain reaction accident, is a crash that occurs when three or more vehicles are involved. Multi-vehicle car accidents can be especially dangerous due to the various points of impact that can be effected in these crashes. For example, if a car rear-ends the car in front of them and a third car doesn’t see this and sideswipes both vehicles while turning, this could cause many different issues to the front, back, and sides of vehicles involved. Common problems that arise from multiple-vehicle car accidents include severe injuries, vehicle damage, the potential for other vehicles to become involved in the crash, and difficulty determining fault.

In rear-end chain reaction accidents, the accident is almost always the fault of the second vehicle in the crash. Even if the vehicle in front of them slowed down or stopped too quickly, the driver behind them is supposed to keep a car’s length between them and other vehicles at all times. If the vehicle in front of the second driver stops or slows down too quickly, the second driver should have enough room to be able to slow down and avoid crashing into the first car. Multi-vehicle accidents that involve side-swiping are an example of another type of accident where the fault is often easy to prove. Sideswipe accidents occur when one driver is distracted or not paying attention and hits the side of another vehicle with their car. In chain reaction sideswiping accidents, this is most often the fault of the middle or second car that is involved in the multi-vehicle pileup from the car accident. In other types of multi-vehicle accidents, it can be more difficult to prove who is at fault, but by filing a police report, collecting evidence and consulting your car accident lawyer, this can help make the process a bit easier.

Common Types of Chain Reaction Car Accidents

Multi-vehicle accidents can occur for a variety of reasons and often happen suddenly. Some of the more common causes of chain reaction accidents include bad weather, driving while distracted, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and many other reasons. Much like the cause of accidents, the types of chain reaction car accidents can vary greatly. Chain reaction car accidents that occur most often include the following:

  • Multi-car pileups – this is a multiple vehicle car accident that is often caused by bad weather, a traffic jam or distracted driving. While the three or more vehicles that are involved in this type of accident may not literally be piled on top of one another, they are all affected by the same crash
  • Rear-end accidents – rear-end accidents are often preventable and caused by distracted driving. If road safety rules are being followed, there should be a car’s length of space between each car when on the road. If one driver stops suddenly and the car behind them runs into their car, this can cause other vehicles to hit each other in succession and create a multi-vehicle car accident
  • Speeding – if there are traffic or road closures on the highway and someone is speeding, they may not be able to stop quickly enough and avoid being involved in a crash. Multi-vehicle car accidents can be especially dangerous if the vehicle that is speeding is a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle. Commercial trucks often weigh 80,000 pounds or more with cargo and can take longer to come to a complete stop
  • Rollover – if a vehicle turned too quickly or attempted to stop too quickly, this can cause the vehicle to roll over. Rollover accidents can be especially dangerous as they often occur on the highway or other busy intersections where drivers are not as accustomed to stopping quickly. If a vehicle rolls over, the vehicle in front of them, behind them, or beside them might not be able to move out of the way quickly, and a multi-vehicle car accident could occur
  • Head-on collisions – when one driver accidentally drives the wrong direction or runs head-on into another vehicle, this could cause a multi-vehicle accident if either vehicle swerves too quickly and hits other cars

Who Is At Fault in a Chain Reaction Car Crash?

Determining fault in a chain-reaction car accident can be difficult depending on the circumstances of the crash. Multi-vehicle accidents can quickly develop and cause severe injuries
and damages. It is sometimes impossible to claim one person at fault in these types of accidents. Instead, the fault for the accident may be evenly distributed among drivers. Each driver is then assigned a percentage of fault in the accident. Their percentage of fault in the accident is correlated to how much money they may be able to recover in compensation for their damages from the accident. For example, in an accident that has $100,000 total in damages and involves three drivers, each driver may receive different amounts of compensation depending on their percentage of fault. A driver that is 20% at fault for the accident may receive the most compensation at $80,000, while the other two drivers that are at fault in the accident that have an equal 40% percentage of responsibility may receive $10,000 in damages from the accident.

Speak with a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident Lawyer About Your Case

If you are unsatisfied with the settlement that you received after being involved in a multi-vehicle car accident, having an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side can help when negotiating for a higher settlement. Your lawyer will analyze your case and decide if it makes sense to re-negotiate for a higher amount of compensation, or if you should settle for the amount that the insurance company offered. If you have been involved in a multi-vehicle accident and you’re ready to discuss your rights to file a personal injury claim, contact the Dixon Injury Firm to discuss your case with our experienced attorneys. Our lawyers offer free consultations and are dedicated to recovering the most in compensation for those that are victims of multi-vehicle car accidents.