Any accident can be a nightmare resulting in serious injuries or death. However, multi-vehicle collisions—sometimes involving 100 vehicles or more on the highway—can cause many more catastrophic injuries and fatalities than other accidents. That’s not surprising, since people are hit multiple times from different angles by more than one vehicle traveling at a high speed.
Who is responsible for this disaster? Is it only the driver that hit the first vehicle? Or could other negligent drivers face some liability?
What Investigators Look at in Establishing Responsibility in a Vehicle Pile-Up
In order to receive compensation for his injuries, an accident victim needs to prove who caused the crash. When many vehicles are involved, more than just the driver who hit the first vehicle could be partially at fault in causing a person’s injuries. Making it more complicated, a determination must be made as to the level at fault in causing an accident. For example, the person who started the wreck could be 70 percent at fault and three other motorists could each be 10 percent negligent.
Often investigators such as an accident reconstruction expert may be needed to help sort out who was at fault. Factors an investigator could consider in establishing the causes of a victim’s injuries include:
- Who struck first? The driver who hit the first vehicle would be considered the initiator of the crash and could face the most liability.
- What were the weather conditions? Fog, rain, and flooding can make it harder for drivers to control their vehicles, and drivers must take extra precautions to drive safely.
- Was anyone speeding? If any drivers were speeding, they would have had insufficient time to slow down to avoid hitting other vehicles or could have caused more serious injuries.
- Were any drivers distracted? If any drivers were talking on their cellphones, texting, eating, or fiddling with their radio or GPS, their eyes were off the road, and they could be partially responsible for compensating the victim.
- Were any drivers drowsy? Like with distracted driving, a motorist who is tired can make mistakes like drifting into another lane or smashing into the car in front of him.
- Were any drivers impaired? People driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be less alert and have slower reaction times, causing them to collide with vehicles they may have been otherwise able to avoid.
- Was any driver following too closely? Drivers are required to maintain a safe distance between their vehicle and the one in front of them. When they tailgate other vehicles or otherwise drive too close, they can be found negligent for rear-ending another motorist.
If you were involved in a multi-car crash, you need to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. There could be many victims of the accident seeking compensation, and you want to make your own claim promptly. Call our experienced legal team today at 800.556.8890 to schedule a free consultation.