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Who Is At Fault In A Chain Reaction Vehicle Accident In California?

three car accident

When three or more cars collide on the streets it is known as a multi-car accident. These accidents are mainly caused by a “chain reaction” when the first car to collide causes a series of other collisions due to the sheer force of the impact. In a multi-vehicle accident like this, it can be very challenging to determine who is at fault, and in some cases, more than one person may be held responsible. Due to this difficulty, our car accident lawyers recommend that you speak to one of us for the legal compensation you deserve.

How A Chain Reaction Pileup Occurs In California

Multi-vehicle car accidents typically happen during traffic stops or on narrow roads, as vehicles are close to each other. Many times the driver is driving to close to the tail of the other car, looking on their phone or just being distracted in some type of way. Let’s take a look at some examples below:

Multi-Car Crash Example 1

Driver 1 -> Driver 2 -> Driver 3

This example takes place at an intersection. Driver 2 and Driver 3 are stopped at an intersection. Driver 1 comes along behind Driver 2 and is unable to brake in time due to driving to close or not paying attention. Either way, this is negligence on Driver 1. This causes Driver 1 to collide into Driver 2, initiating the “chain reaction” car accident. Because of the force, Driver 2 is pushed towards Driver 3, and thus, another crash occurs. This is a common occurrence in California because we have congested streets and highways.

Multi-Car Crash Example 2

Driver 4 -> Driver 3 -> Driver 1 -> Driver 2

Another example is when Driver 1 is traveling behind Driver 2 when Driver 2 stops without warning. Driver 1 collides into Driver 2, resulting in the first crash. Along comes Driver 3 who is driving too fast and ends up hitting the rear end of Driver 1’s car. This unexpected obstacle on the road startles another driver, Driver 4, who fails to stop in time and crashes into the pileup.

In California, Who Is At Fault In A Multi-Vehicle Accident?

In most cases, the driver who initiated the first impact is the person who is to blame. But as the instances above show, other persons or even public agencies may share the fault as well. The key is proving that each of these parties was negligent. With the help of a personal injury lawyer, this task becomes less stressful. Here are some examples:

  • A driver who failed to use their brake lights or other signals
  • A driver who was tailgating
  • A driver who was speeding or driving recklessly
  • A driver who was texting
  • A distracted driver
  • The public agency that failed to install or maintain proper traffic signs
  • The public agency that failed to clear the road of obstacles that caused drivers to abruptly stop.

Even though there are many reasons why someone may be at fault. Sometimes, there can be a case where no one is at fault even given the scenarios. An example is when the accident occurred because of bad weather or natural hazards on the road such as an ice patch. Another is when a driver inadvertently instigated the accident because they were losing consciousness at the wheel due to a medical condition. In cases like these, the liability may be reduced or eliminated altogether. No matter the complexity of the situation, always seek medical attention then speak to a legal professional for advice.

How To Establish That Someone Is At Fault

At the end of the day, establishing fault is the priority. Getting adequate compensation is the key to a safe and relaxing recovery. A complex accident such as a chain reaction pileup requires thorough and skilled investigation by an experienced car accident lawyer. The most important element to prove is the at-fault party’s negligence, and there are several things that can be used to establish this:

  • Evidence at the scene
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Police report about or related to the accident
  • Records of traffic violation committed by the at-fault party

In California, It is best to get the help of an experienced auto accident attorney who knows the law like the back of their hand. Krasney Law is a competent accident law firm who can conduct an exhaustive investigation of the accident and build a strong case against the liable party. For any questions contact the lawyers at (909) 380-7200 for a free consultation. We will make sure you get the legal help you deserve.