Road accidents claim hundreds of lives every day. These accidents continue to occur regularly around the globe, making them one of the leading causes of death. Although some of these tragic events are caused by external circumstances, in most instances, car accidents happen due to the negligence of the driver.
In some cases, you’ll even find three or more vehicles colliding and causing multiple car accidents. Among all the ways vehicles may collide from any part, rear-end collision continues to be the most common type of multiple car accident.
How Multiple Car Accidents Happen
You may have wondered what causes rear-end and multiple collisions even with the presence of traffic rules. Below are some of the reasons that contribute to these collisions:
- Terrible weather conditions that include heavy rain and icy roads
- Driving under the influence of any intoxicant
- An exhausted driver, as exhaustion causes a person to get distracted easily and lose control of the vehicle
- Hostile and risky driving, which often leads to the violation of traffic rules
Fault And Damages
The process of determining fault in multiple car accidents is usually complicated due to the number of parties involved. Therefore, the fault is determined by finding out which driver acted negligently and caused other vehicles to collide with one another.
Although the fault remains on the driver who caused the accident, evidence will still be gathered to support the decision of the court. The fault isn’t simply attributed to one person without sufficient evidence. This proves that the person injury process can be lengthy and complex if you were to handle it yourself.
Keep in mind that different states have different rules when it comes to fault and damages. In an at-fault state, the person who caused the accident will bear the blame and financial responsibility. This is contrary to a no-fault state where the insurance company covers any bodily injury and medical bills incurred. Below are ways to determine fault:
- Shared Fault Law
Some states follow a shared-fault law, where all drivers are given a certain percentage of the blame. For instance, take a scenario where car A rear-ended car B due to a distraction, and car C rear-ends car A minutes later due to negligence. Here, the driver of car C will bear more fault than car A.
In other states, people follow a system that disqualifies a driver from pursuing compensation due to blame sharing. A great example is when car B rear-ends car A, but car A is at fault and may have contributed to the collision because of a broken tail light. For this scenario, car A will carry the most blame.
To determine fault, the damages that occurred need to be accessed. Since different accidents damage different parts of your car, you can try to figure out how it happened. If it’s a rear-end collision, the back bumper will show signs of damage. But for a T-bone collision, your vehicle will be damaged on the side.
Factors To Consider In Determining Fault And Damages
- Photo Evidence
Always remember that property damage plays a huge part in finding fault. This is why you’re encouraged to take lots of photo evidence of all the cars involved in the accident. You should also take pictures of your injuries, as injuries may prove where your car was damaged.
- Calling The Authorities
Call the police to the scene. They’ll assess the damage and write down a report that will come in handy during the investigation. If there were any skid marks left, take pictures from different angles. Depending on the length of the mark, authorities can try to determine the speed of the car.
- Witness Statements
Witness statements are usually secured by interviewing passersby who were not involved in the accident. They’re expected to give impartial statements and observations since their accounts are based on what exactly transpired during the crash. The authorities can’t rely on the statements of vehicle drivers involved in the accident since they’ll most likely refuse to take the blame and tweak their narratives to their advantage.
However, know that it’s also possible for these drivers to be absent of any form of negligence or mistake. Thus, getting the statements of pedestrians and other motorists can help you collect corroborating statements that could help your case. Don’t forget to include their phone number and full name along with the accounts of the accident. This is crucial in solidifying your case.
- Seeking Legal Assistance
If you’re involved in an accident you didn’t cause, it’s fair to seek financial recovery for the property damage and injuries you’ve incurred. In doing so, you might want to seek the assistance of a lawyer. Relying completely on your insurance company would be an unwise move since, as mentioned previously, determining fault in a multiple car accident is challenging. Thus, this can also make the assignment of liability difficult.
Remember that, unlike your lawyer, an insurance company won’t think about the predicament you’re currently facing. While this may sound harsh, this is true in most cases. On the other hand, a lawyer can help you go through this challenging event in your life by representing you in court and ensuring you get the recovery you deserve.
Since multiple car accident cases can be challenging, you might want to employ the services of skilled and experienced counsel.
Chances are, you may get into an accident at one point in your life. Hopefully, it won’t be something serious. However, if tragedy strikes, learn how to determine faults and damages according to the laws in your state.
After you do, consider your part in the accident. And whether you’re at fault or not, remember to take pictures that can be used as evidence. Afterward, call the police to assess the scene and come up with a report that may be useful in your case. Moreover, consider getting legal representation who will have your best interest in mind.
If you experience any injury, keep documentation from the hospital and pictures. This will serve as a visual representation of how you got affected by the accident. Finally, remember to keep yourself safe by avoiding terrible weather conditions, driving under the influence (DUI), and risky driving.