Technically speaking, even the typical two car accident counts as a multiple car collision, but when most people think of a multi-car wreck, they imagine three or more vehicles are involved. Commonly called a pileup, multi-car collisions occur when numerous vehicles collide with a sort of chain reaction event. These accidents can often result in much more severe injuries than a one or two-car wreck.
When multiple vehicles are involved in these pileups, it’s frequently difficult to identify who’s at fault in the chain reaction event. Due to this difficulty, insurance companies usually delay settlement payouts until they complete a thorough investigation. That’s why, if you or a loved one has been involved in a multi-car accident, you need an experienced, proven car accident lawyer, like Kathryn Burmeister, in your corner and fighting for your rights.
Who’s to Blame – Identifying Legal Fault
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the over 6-million traffic accidents in 2018, over 4-million involved two or more vehicles. Accidents involving multiple vehicles frequently begin with a single compounding incident or factor, leading to the multi-vehicle collision. Examples of these factors include:
- Poor weather conditions
- Roadway is in disrepair
- Inattentive driving (looking at cellphone or other distractions)
- Impaired driving (driving while intoxicated or under influence of drugs)
- Speeding in heavy traffic conditions
- Speeding in construction zones
- Failing to stop for red lights
- Tailgating another car
- Road rage
- Rubbernecking another accident or other distraction
With accidents, glass and debris from multiple cars litters the scene, identifying who’s legally at fault becomes more complicated. Before anyone who is a victim in an accident can have a valid claim against the driver at-fault, you must be able to prove the driver is responsible for damages. In other words, you must be able to prove the driver is responsible for any losses they caused to someone else involved.
These three requirements provide an easy way to understand liability:
- There was a duty owed
- The duty was breached
- This breach caused injury
Imagine this scenario:
Mr. Impatient has a duty to obey traffic lights at intersections. If he runs a red light, he has breached his duty. If in doing so, he crashes into you, Mr. Impatient is considered (in legal terms) as the proximate cause of the crash, making his liable for damages. He’s clearly at fault, right? The attending police officer even gave him a citation for failure to obey the traffic light.
But it’s not that simple.
Let’s say a witness on the sidewalk claims she saw you speeding as you approached the intersection. She also claims you could have avoided colliding with Mr. Impatient if you hadn’t been speeding. The witness statement is included in the police report and the insurance adjuster obtains his own statement from the witness, which causes him to claim you bear partial fault for the accident.
As you see, it’s not always as easy as it may seem to clearly identify who is at fault. And that example involves a two-car collision. For a multi-car collision, it gets even more complex. That’s why you need a personal injury attorney, who is highly experienced with car accident cases, on your side. Car Accident Lawyer, Kathryn Burmeister, understands how to conduct a thorough investigation of multi-car accidents and all associated evidence so that the truth emerges.
As you see from above, even seemingly cut-and-dry accidents involving two cars can have more than one person considered at-fault. With multi-car collisions, this possibility increases and, often, even becomes probable. If you’ve suffered loss and injury due to a multi-car collision, consult with a top lawyer with extensive experience in these cases. Call Burmeister Law Firm immediately to set up your no-obligation consultation. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to get to the truth and, consequently to the compensation you deserve. Kathryn Burmeister will fight for you, so you can get your life back.