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Determining Liability In A Multi-Car Accident

Multi-car accidents, also referred to as multi-car pile-ups or chain reaction accidents, can sometimes be difficult to disentangle when it comes to determining who is liable for the damages or injuries caused by the accident. Depending on how the accident happened, the drivers involved may or may not be able to point to a single driver who started the accident.

In the case of a three-car pile-up, where one car slams on its brakes and the car behind it rear ends it, and a third car rear ends the second car, liability does not necessarily have to be attributed to the first car. The first car could have slammed on its brakes suddenly, but the other cars are also expected to have been following at a safe enough distance as to avoid rear ending. In this case, it is possible for the second car to be found liable for damages to the first car and injuries sustained by its driver. The third car may also be liable for damages and injuries suffered by the second driver. If this happens, the driver in the third car would have to make a claim on his or her own insurance.

The second driver may avoid liability altogether by arguing that he was driving at a safe distance and would have stopped safely and avoided rear ending the first car, except the driver in the third car rear ended him and the force caused him to rear end the first car. The second driver can therefore argue that the third driver was at fault and should pay for any damage the second car caused to the first car.

In accidents where one car causes damage to multiple cars, for example, a drunk driver who swerves, drives into oncoming traffic and hits several cars in the process, the drunk driver would most likely be found liable for all the damage caused to all cars. Unfortunately, the drunk driver’s insurance policy would most likely have a limit that would not cover all the damages caused and the other drivers may have to seek compensation through lawsuits.

In situations where the accidents are caused by weather conditions, each driver typically relies on his or her own insurance to cover any damages and injuries.

As with all accidents, liability can often be determined through looking at police reports, interviewing witnesses, and studying any other evidence at the scene of the accident. These sources can provide valuable information to making sense of a complicated accident situation. Drivers involved in the accident should avoid making statements at the scene that can later be pointed to as evidence of liability.

Contact Us For Legal Assistance

If you suffered injuries following a multiple car accident, or after an accident with a negligent driver, you need an experienced attorney to help you determine how to seek compensation for your injuries. Contact Ed Schottenstein of Schottenstein Law Offices TODAY by calling(614) 467-8474. Your consultation is free, and we’ll even arrange free valet parking for you, too!