Legal Blog

A Look at Liability in Multi-Vehicle Auto Accidents

Attorney David I. Fuchs

Author

Attorney David I. Fuchs

Date

Jul. 29, 2016

Category

Car Accident Law

It should come as no surprise that when an individual is injured in an automobile accident in which several automobiles were involved, questions regarding liability can and do frequently arise. That is why accident victims are encouraged to seek sound legal guidance from a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer like David I. Fuchs.

Involved in a Multi-Car Crash? Who Can Be Held Liable Under the Law?

Whenever a multi-car accident takes place, two primary questions typically arise: Who can be held liable for the damages and injuries sustained and is there enough insurance to cover those injuries and damages?

Consider the following four-car scenario: Four automobiles are traveling on a Florida roadway when a crash takes place and a chain reaction occurs. In this chain reaction, Car 1 sideswiped an oncoming vehicle (Car 2). Car 1 then hit another automobile head-on (Car 3) and another car (Car 4) ultimately ran into the back of Car 3.

Accidents like the one above will take the skill of a car accident attorney to resolve, as it can be difficult to demonstrate which driver’s acts contributed to the accident and to what extent. Undoubtedly, each driver will have his or her own version of what happen, and any witnesses to the crash may have stories that are completely different than those of the four drivers involved in the collision.

The initial reaction may be to blame the driver of Car 1, which sideswiped Car 2. But why did that happen? What if the driver of Car 1 was operating the vehicle properly until one of the tires on the vehicle ran into a pothole, which ultimately flattened it, causing the driver to swerve into Car 2? Also, what if the driver of Car 4 was driving faster than the posted speed limit and following too closely to Car 3, but could have avoided hitting Car 3?

As you can see, determining liability can be difficult when there are only four vehicles involved, not to mention when there are 20 or 30 car pileups. Nevertheless, for those injured in the collision, it is crucial that a proper determination is made as soon as possible with respect to liability. Working with a skilled accident attorney can help accident victims navigate through the determination process in order to bring a claim against all appropriate parties.

Comparative Negligence

Under Florida law, the amount of compensation that an injured accident victim can receive in a multi-vehicle accident will be in direct proportion with the percentage of fault attributed to each driver. This legal concept is known as comparative negligence, and ultimately, determining fault will come down to the specific facts of the case.

With respect to insurance, the insurance adjuster assigned to handle the case will review all accident-related documents, to include police reports, medical records and any other relevant factors in order to propose a settlement amount.

In such cases, the claims adjuster might determine that a number of drivers are liable or he or she may decide not to settle the case at all. Insurers often look for ways to either deny substantial claims or lowball those claims — which is why it is crucial for victims to seek guidance from a knowledgeable lawyer.

If you have been involved in a multi-vehicle collision and you have questions and concerns about who can be held responsible for your injuries and damages, contact attorney David I. Fuchs as soon as possible.