According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a total of 12,589 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in multi-vehicle collisions in 2018 alone. When more vehicles are involved in an accident, more drivers are involved as well, which can lead to complex liability issues. Were you recently involved in a chain-reaction car accident? Review the information below to better understand how the at-fault parties will be identified.
What Is a Chain-Reaction Car Accident?
In a chain-reaction accident, more than two vehicles collide with each other. Sometimes these accidents happen when multiple cars rear-end each other or collide and form a pileup. Chain-reaction accidents often make the news during poor weather conditions during the winter months when people are driving on snow and ice. They’re also common when drivers drive the wrong way, causing other vehicles to swerve in order to avoid them
A chain-reaction car accident can be catastrophic for the first vehicle because the collision occurs with sufficient force to cause the vehicle to crash into other vehicles. As more vehicles collide into the wrecked vehicles, the injuries and property damages typically lessen until the chain of collisions ends.
Therefore, most chain-reaction car accidents cause the most injuries to the first person who is hit and the person who caused the initial accident. The third involved driver may also suffer serious injuries. Subsequent drivers may suffer less serious injuries, as they had more time to react to the accident in front of them. While chain-reaction accidents are frequently caused by one driver’s recklessness or negligence, several parties can share fault.
Determination of Liability in a Multi-Vehicle Collision
Multi-vehicle collisions frequently happen because of the force released by the initial crash. For example, if a semi-truck rear-ends an SUV, the force of that collision could propel the SUV into the vehicle in front of it. That collision could then lead to another collision with a third and fourth vehicle. This type of crash may be caused by only the negligence of the semi-truck driver.
In other cases, a chain-reaction accident is clearly caused by multiple parties. For example, if the third driver collides with a fourth vehicle because the third driver was following too close, the third driver and the first driver may both share fault. Similarly, if the second driver did something that caused the first driver to collide into his or her vehicle such as cutting the first driver off, the second driver may be at fault for the initial collision and all of the resulting crashes.
To determine liability in a chain-reaction car accident, an investigative team will need to carefully analyze everything that occurred. Forensic experts and accident reconstruction experts might need to examine the scene, talk to witnesses, and engage in other investigatory activities to pinpoint the true cause (or causes) of the crash. So, if you were injured in a multi-vehicle accident, it is important that you work with an experienced attorney at a firm that has the resources to help you to understand the causes of your accident.
Insurance Considerations in Multi-Vehicle Accidents in MO
Missouri is an at-fault state for motor vehicle accidents. This means that the driver who caused the accident will be responsible for paying for the economic and non-economic losses of the victims. Before a claim can be filed, Missouri’s insurance system requires victims to determine the identities of the at-fault parties. Therefore, the first thing that you should do after being involved in a multi-vehicle accident is to call the police. The responding officers will investigate what happened and help by giving an initial determination of fault. However, working with experts following an accident can help you to uncover causes that the police might not initially identify so that your recovery sources can be maximized.
You should never admit fault for a multi-vehicle crash, even if you were driving the first car to collide with another. Other drivers or companies could be liable for causing the accident.
Contact the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave
Chain-reaction accidents may cause catastrophic injuries, fatalities, and substantial property damages. If you were seriously injured in this type of accident, you will likely need help determining liability so that you can recover compensation for your losses. Contact the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave today to schedule a free consultation by calling us at 417-322-2222 or sending us a message online.