You’ve probably seen news stories about multi-car pileups and huge crashes on your local highways. How do these “chain reaction” crashes occur, and how do the police determine who is responsible for damages?
A “chain reaction” crash is simply one with three or more vehicles that become involved in a series of crashes. It can be very difficult to determine who’s ultimately responsible, and often several drivers share fault.
These crashes have a domino effect and they most often occur at traffic stops or on narrow roads with adjacent lanes of traffic. Here are just a couple of scenarios in which a chain reaction accident can occur:
- A driver is coming into a lane of stopped traffic too fast. They run into the back of a stopped vehicle, and the force of the crash pushes the second car into the one ahead of it.
- A driver slams on their brakes unexpectedly, which forces the driver behind them into a rear-end collision. Another driver, who is traveling much faster than everyone else, hits the rear end of the rear driver’s car. A fourth driver fails to react to the crash and causes a pile-up.
If you were involved in a chain-reaction car accident, contact an auto accident attorney from David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. to schedule a free initial consultation.
Determining Fault in a Multi-Vehicle Accident
As we said, determining liability in these accidents can be difficult. Often, the driver who created the first crash is liable for injuries, but as we’ve shown, drivers can share fault. In fact, even public agencies can share fault for an accident if there are preventable hazards on the road. Examples of other negligent behavior that can contribute to a multi-vehicle accident include:
- Following too closely
- Failure to fix a broken brake light
- Distracted driving
- Failing to maintain roads or traffic signs
At the same time, there are also instances in which no one is responsible for a car crash. A common example is when a chain reaction occurs as a result of black ice or another inclement weather condition. Another might be a driver losing consciousness at the wheel as the result of a medical condition. In these examples, it’s possible that no one is responsible, and each driver seeks compensation from their own insurance companies.
Investigations into Fault
In the event that one or more parties are responsible for a serious chain accident, an independent investigation becomes necessary. A car accident lawyer can complete an accident reconstruction and determine which parties are at fault for serious injuries. This makes it possible for the victim to seek additional compensation to pay for damages, including immaterial losses like pain, suffering, and any loss in life quality. To reconstruct an accident, attorneys use tools like:
- Physical and forensic evidence from the scene
- Witness testimony
- Police reports
- Traffic records from the at-fault party
If you’ve sustained an injury in a multi-vehicle accident, hire a car accident attorney to represent you and find the parties responsible. These lawyers can help you investigate the details of the accident and will vigorously defend your interests until you achieve the fair and full compensation you deserve for your injuries and suffering.