After a 3 or more car accident, the big question is who is going to be responsible to pay for your injuries?
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety traffic fatalities increased 7 percent from 3,387 in 2015 to 3,623 in 2016.
Most traffic accidents usually involves only two cars, but for an accident to be considered a multi-car accident, three or more vehicles must be involved.
These types of accidents can resolve into extremely high payouts for the victims should they decide to seek compensation. Serious injuries and fatalities are common. Due to nature of these accidents, these claims involve multiple insurance companies and fall under both personal injury and commercial policies.
Whether you’re involved in a slow-moving 3-car accident in town or a huge pile-up on the interstate, you’ll need to know how to be fully compensated for your property damage, physical injuries, and pain and suffering. Always speak to a car accident lawyer for the more information or any questions you may have.
What Are The Common Causes of Multi-Car Accidents?
Humans make mistakes. Which means that driver error is almost always at play in car accidents, but these contributing factors are especially common in multi-vehicle crashes:
- Weather – slippery roads, wet roads, snow, rain, ice and fog
- Speeding – driving higher than the posted speed limits
- Failing Asleep – being to tired at the wheel
- Intoxication – driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Cell Phones – the use of cellular devices has increased over the years leading to more accidents caused by distracted drivers
- Driving Distracted – aside from driving with a cell phone, do anything else that can warrant distraction such as messing on your car’s touch screen or even talking to a passenger
- Emotional Driving – driving while under intense emotional stress
- Police Chases
Multi-Car Crashes Are Dangerous And Can Be Deadly
In California, we have many congested highways that people use to get to main cities like Los Angeles for example. In these conditions, all it takes is one driver who’s momentarily distracted to set off a massive chain reaction of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Since these accidents are high-speed and sudden impact, there’s a high probability of serious injuries and death.
In multi-vehicle accidents, several cars can hit one car from different directions. Each time a new means more variables to the accident and a greater amount of broken glass, bent steel, and leaking gasoline which can lead to catastrophic injuries.
How To Determine Fault in a Pile-up Car Accident In California
When there are large amounts of money on the line, insurance companies usually send their best insurance claims adjusters to the scene. The reason for this is usually because the drivers who are at-fault drivers will seldom freely admit responsibility, it’s necessary for the investigators to find the underlying cause and the at-fault driver. This is why it helps to understand what do after a multi-car accident and how to use the help of a personal injury attorney.
- Negligence means failure to take reasonable care to prevent harm to others.
- Liability means responsibility for what happened.
- Proximate Cause is when an action directly leads to injuries.
Multi-Vehicle Accident Investigations
Like many problems, the more variables to solve the harder the equation is to solve. Some goes for multi-car accidents. The more vehicles in the accident, the harder it is to figure out who caused the crash. Questions like who was tail-gating? Who was driving under the influence? Was he or she on the phone during the accident?
To determine the fault of the multi car accident, investigators will want to see police reports and any other evidence gathered from the scene. They want to know if the police arrested or ticketed any driver for:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Possession of drugs or open containers of alcohol
- Moving violations like failure to yield, following too closely, or reckless driving
- Driving without a valid license or insurance
Sometimes People Hire Private Investigators To Look At The Scene Of The Accident
Sometimes, people hire private investigators to look deeper into the accident. Private accident investigators will dig into any available information on the drivers in a major crash including all important major records for an inside look on the history of those involved in the car accident.
The investigator will typically visit the accident scene to take photographs, measure skid marks, and evaluate conditions of the road and surrounding area. This is to ensure that all evidence has been taken into account and nothing was missed. If you area victim of a multi-car accident please contact us for a free consultation. We can help defend you and get the compensation you deserve.
Multi-Vehicle Accidents at Intersections In California
In California, multi-vehicle collisions aren’t restricted to high-speed thoroughfares. Many occur locally at slower speeds. Intersections are hot spots for 3-car accidents. As mentioned above, congested highways are another place for multi-car accidents to occur.
Car One may be stopped correctly at a red light only to have Car Two slam into him from behind. Car 2 could have been driving under the influence or just not paying attention. No matter the reason, the force of impact can push the first car into the intersection, only to have it t-boned by Car Three who was going through the intersection on a green light correctly.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
Fault can spread to multiple drivers during the accident, including yours. Because most states follow a comparative negligence rule, injured drivers can still pursue a claim against the other drivers’ insurance company, even if they’re partially to blame for the accident. California is a “fault” state.
Depending on the state where the accident occurred, compensation may be reduced or eliminated according to your percentage of fault.
Mitigation of Fault In California
Sometimes it is not always the drivers that is to blame. In some cases, police officers recognize mitigating circumstances when they occur. Although most multi-car collisions are a result of someone’s negligence, there are occasions when no one is to blame.
For example, a driver who is having a stroke that causing the driver to loses consciousness leading them to begin the collision. These types of cases can be increasingly difficult to determine fault.
Filing Your Personal Injury Claim With Krasney Law
If you’re in a multi-vehicle accident, contact your insurance company as soon as you can. Then make sure to contact a car accident lawyer for legal advice. Injured drivers in a no-fault insurance state must first look to the med-pay or personal injury protection(PIP) coverage on their own policy.
If the driver at fault is unclear, you can file your claim against all the other drivers’ insurance companies. If more than one driver was insured by the same company, you must file separate insurance claims against each driver’s policy. It always best to speak with a lawyer as soon as you can to make sure you are taking the right steps to protect yourself.
In turn, the insurance companies may help by doing some of the investigative work for you. But don’t get too comfortable – the insurance company is not looking out for you. they are a business and a businesses goal is to be profitable.
So in order To protect themselves, insurance companies may produce evidence of lack of fault for their insured. After the accident, its best to take action as soon as possible. the reason for this is the Statute of Limitations. Each state has a deadline for settling an injury claim or filing a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, you forfeit your claim. If yo are curious about your deadlines, speak with us at Krasney Law or look it up online for your state to be clear.
If you or a family member were severely injured, you’ll need a skilled personal injury attorney to get the compensation you deserve. There’s no obligation, and it costs nothing to find out what a good attorney can do for you. Call the experienced lawyers in California at Krasney Law for legal guidance and a free consultation. We know how difficult it is to decipher the law while going through recovery and dealing with insurance. Let us take some of that burden from you and help today!