Multi car accidents are especially upsetting events. In fact, the largest multi car accident in American history involved 194 cars and was 2 miles long. Luckily, no one died in that incident.
We can only imagine the legal nightmare that followed.
It’s not always easy to determine who’s at fault in a car accident. Let alone when there are multiple vehicles involved.
Continue reading and we’ll walk you through how to determine who’s at fault when a multi car accident occurs.
A multi car traffic accident is when at least three vehicles hit one another. This is usually a series of rear-end accidents that are often started by the force of the original collision.
Let’s look at an example. In this scenario, Driver D hits Driver C who hits Driver B who hits Driver A.
Here’s one likely way such an accident would occur:
Driver A is stopped at a light. Driver B rear-ends the car in front of her, which is being driven by Driver A.
Because Driver C was tailgating Driver B, they did not have enough time to stop and rear-end Driver B immediately after Driver B hit Driver A.
The same thing occurs with Driver D who is following closely behind Driver C.
Another problem is that the force from the cars behind Driver A could send Driver’s A car into the vehicle in front of her. This could cause a chain reaction going through many, many cars.
Many times, multi car accidents involve a multitude of drivers who each were driving carelessly. This makes it quite the challenge to bring a personal injury lawsuit or car insurance claim to the incident.
Let’s take a look at the different problems that may come up. Especially when trying to figure out who’s at fault.
If you bring a lawsuit or an insurance claim against another driver after a multi car accident, you’re going to have prove liability by using the legal theory known as “negligence”.
Here, you can determine which driver was negligent by figuring out which driver’s carelessness started the accident. Or by determining the share of liability between several drivers.
There is a rule of the road that states that drivers need to keep a safe distance between their car and the car in front of them. It’s a disregard for this rule that often leads to these kinds of accidents.
Like in a regular rear-end, the car that crashed into the car in front of it is usually the one that is at fault.
Now, what if a car pushed into you and then you hit the car that’s in front of you?
Well, let’s take a look at our earlier example.
In that scenario, Driver A is going to have to establish the order of events that led to the rear-ending from Driver B.
If it all started because Driver C was following too close behind Driver B and forced Driver B into Driver A, then Driver C is the negligent one.
Driver C is then responsible for the damages that occurred to the cars of both Driver B and Driver A.
If Driver B is responsible, then in this situation Driver A would most likely feel the impact caused by both Driver B and Driver C. Therefore, they could claim that both Drivers B and C are liable.
Add Driver D into the mix and things get even more complicated. Driver B could rear-end Driver A, be hit by C, who gets hit by D. Or, Driver D could start the whole accident by hitting Driver C.
No matter how the multi car accident occurs, there are several resources you can utilize to help you establish how it started and who was at fault.
First, you can use eyewitness accounts. This includes your own account of the situation, the accounts of the passengers in each of the cars, and the drivers of the cars behind you. It also includes passers-by who may have watched the incident unfold.
You can also use the police reports that were filed in connection to the accident. This includes the findings of the reporting officer as to whether any of the drivers involved committed a traffic violation.
You can assess the vehicle damage to help you determine how the events unfolded.
You and your attorney and gather evidence at the scene of the accident. The evidence can be vehicle debris and skid marks.
By making sure that you drive at a safe distance from other vehicles and obey all traffic laws, you can minimize your chances of getting into such an accident as well as being liable for one.
One major cause of these kinds of accidents is that the negligent vehicle doesn’t see the vehicle in front of them either because of fog or darkness. You can counter this by installing something like a wireless towing light bar to keep your vehicle well lit.
By knowing who’s at fault for a multi car accident, you can better understand what it means to be a negligent driver and how to be a better driver yourself.
If you were involved in a multi car accident, you can hopefully use the above information to help determine who was at fault and speed up your insurance claim.
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