October 4, 2021
Who is Responsible for a Multi-Vehicle Accident?
A standard car accident can be complicated, but matters can become much more stressful when three or more vehicles are involved. Determining the cause of a multi-vehicle accident can require a lot of investigative work. Although law enforcement officers will provide a police report, it may not always be obvious what happened at first. The most important step to do is attend to any injuries. Once medical care has been administered, the process of sifting through the evidence begins.
When police arrive, they will take steps to secure the accident scene and make their initial determination. In most cases, the driver that initially rear ended the second vehicle is usually responsible, but that is not always true.
In order to prove that a driver was at fault, it needs to be shown that they were negligent. Speeding, tailgating, and ignoring other traffic laws can be seen as negligent, so it is essential to find ways to prove that any of these occurred. Eyewitness accounts can be helpful, but other drivers do not always stop when they see accidents happen. Passengers may be able to act as witnesses.
The police report can also be useful in determining liability. Officers should include information about any traffic violations committed that may have led to the crash.
The vehicles will also be assessed, and the damage can provide clues as to what happened. It is a good idea to take pictures of a crash scene as soon as possible after it happens, including pictures of the vehicles, skid marks, weather conditions, and anything else that may have contributed to the accident.
It is important to keep medical records as well. Keep records of any medical diagnoses, bills, and out-of-pocket expenses related to treatment for injuries that resulted from the crash.
What Causes Multi-Vehicle Accidents?
In most cases, a multi-vehicle accident happens when one car rear ends another, creating a chain reaction. The likelihood of a multi-vehicle accident increases when cars are traveling at high speeds, a driver is intoxicated, or when weather conditions are poor.
Sometimes, more than one driver is at fault for a multi-vehicle accident. For example, if multiple motorists were committing driving offenses at the time of the accident, liability may fall onto more than one party.
If two vehicles are traveling in the same direction and one changes lanes unsafely, it could clip another car next to them, forcing them to run into another vehicle. Responsibility would depend on if one driver was speeding.
Multi-vehicle accidents frequently happen at intersections. When drivers run red lights or stop signs and cause collisions, they are always at fault, but they may share liability.
No matter the cause, a multi-vehicle accident comes with a high risk of bodily injury because the vehicles are hit more than once. The impact can come from different directions, so the likelihood of fatalities also increases.
What Should I Do After a Multi-Vehicle Crash?
It is not always easy to remain calm after any kind of car accident, but the safest thing to do is to remain in the vehicle with your seat belt on until help arrives. Standing outside of a vehicle after a crash could be very dangerous, especially on a busy highway. Turn the vehicle off, put the hazard lights on, and call for emergency services. The dispatcher can provide instructions, and they will contact first responders. Try to remain calm, and make note of your surroundings.
Your auto insurance provider should be contacted as soon as possible, and you can answer their questions without providing too much information. Also, do not elaborate on the details. Saying the wrong thing can be held against you later. It is important to be honest, but do not tell them anything that may seem like you caused the accident.
Should you choose to file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against another driver following a multi-car accident, you will have to prove negligence. Before undertaking this kind of case, it would be wise to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer. While you might feel that another driver is fully at fault, that person might end up wanting to sue you for damages. Since fault is difficult to determine in a multi-vehicle accident case, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Our Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. can Protect Your Rights After a Multi-Vehicle Accident
Anyone who has been involved in a serious multi-car accident needs a lawyer they can trust. If you were injured in a multi-vehicle accident, speak with our Norristown car accident lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. today. We can protect your rights. For a free consultation, call us at 267-861-7100 or complete our online form. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Norristown, Pennsylvania.