Car accident claims can get complicated even if there are only two vehicles involved. That means claims involving three or more vehicles are even more complicated. These types of collisions can result in serious injuries.
More than one driver may be at fault for these crashes. That means the victim may be able to seek compensation from multiple insurance policies. If you have significant damages, the insurance companies are likely to fight hard to deny or underpay your claim.
Accident victims should consider working with a Lafayette vehicle accident attorney.
At Galloway Jefcoat, we have the legal knowledge and experience to handle each step of the legal process. Our attorneys also work on contingency, so there are no upfront fees when we take on a case. We know how hard insurance companies fight to avoid paying out claims. Our law firm has secured hundreds of millions in compensation for injury victims.
Galloway Jefcoat. No upfront fees or obligations: (337) 984-8020.
Common Types of Multi-Vehicle Collisions
Multi-vehicle collisions are also known as chain-reaction accidents.
These crashes usually occur because one car crashes into another, resulting in collisions with other nearby vehicles. Sometimes the nearby vehicles are unable to avoid a collision with the first two vehicles. There are also times when the force of the initial collision propels the first two vehicles into other cars.
A common example of a multi-car collision is a rear-end collision that involves multiple cars. One vehicle crashes into another one, the second vehicle crashes into the one in front of it, and so on. These types of crashes often occur on interstate highways in heavy traffic.
Other types of multi-vehicle collisions also occur on interstate highways. For example, two vehicles could move into another lane of traffic after the collision and oncoming cars may be unable to stop before a crash happens. Sometimes one of the cars involved rolls over. Sometimes vehicles get spun around in the initial collision or the subsequent collisions.
All these collisions increase the risk of injury. Another factor to consider is that airbags only deploy once. That means after the airbags deploy during the first collision, they cannot deploy again during the subsequent collisions.
Sometimes there are fires and/or explosions during chain-reaction crashes. This increases the risk for burn injuries. Another problem with fires and explosions is they make it harder for first responders to get to the victims. First responders need to wait until the fire is dealt with.
Factors That Contribute to Multi-Vehicle Crashes
There are a variety of factors that contribute to more than two vehicles being involved in a collision. For example, traveling at high speed can make a chain-reaction crash more likely. This is true whether vehicles are obeying the speed limit or exceeding the speed limit. When you are traveling at high speeds, you have much less time to slow down or stop to try to avoid a crash.
Some of the other factors that could contribute to a chain-reaction crash include:
This one is not surprising, as distractions like texting and driving contribute to so many collisions. The first collision and subsequent collisions could all be caused by texting and driving or other forms of distracted driving (eating, personal grooming, conversations with passengers, reaching for something, etc.).
If one driver was not paying attention, he or she might have been unable to avoid crashing into the first two vehicles.
Excessive rain could lead to hydroplaning that could cause one or more drivers to lose control of their vehicles. Another factor to consider is that drivers should leave more space in front of their vehicles in the rain, but they often do not. That means they may be unable to stop before crashing into the vehicle in front of theirs. They may also be unable to stop to avoid crashing into two other vehicles that already hit each other.
Drugs and Alcohol
Drunk driving is a factor in many collisions, particularly collisions that cause catastrophic injuries or death. Drunk drivers often engage in reckless driving, like driving on the wrong side of the road or driving at excessive speeds.
The other problem with impaired driving is that drivers have slower reaction times and poor depth perception. Drunk drivers may not realize how close another car is, and they may not be able to hit the brakes quickly enough to avoid a collision.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Road construction zones can be dangerous for many reasons: uneven lanes, narrow lanes, construction equipment in the road, road signs with confusing instructions.
Evaluating Liability for a Multi-Car Collision
When a driver is negligent, he or she can be held liable for the cost resulting damages. That means the drivers who were negligent in a multi-vehicle collision can be held liable for their portion of damages.
It is possible the driver who caused the first collision is at fault for the damages that resulted from the subsequent collisions. However, fault is often shared between multiple drivers. In fact, both drivers in the first collision may share fault.
For example, in a rear-end collision involving multiple vehicles, the lead vehicle may have been following another too closely. While the driver in the rear-most vehicle may have been following too closely or been negligent in some other way. The lead driver may also bear fault for the subsequent collisions.
The important thing to remember is that every collision is different. There are many factors to consider. Your attorney should investigate the claim to determine liability.
Your attorney may need to bring in an accident reconstruction expert. Witness statements may also be critical, as it can be a challenge to determine all the things that happened in the collision. Your lawyer must establish the specific cause of your injuries.
One of the challenges with establishing fault for a multi-vehicle collision is that there are multiple drivers involved who may all have varying accounts of what happened. It can be difficult to piece together what happened, even for the responding police officer. That is why witness statements can be important.
Video footage of the crash can help clear up inconsistencies in witness and driver accounts of what occurred. However, video footage from a traffic camera, security camera or dashboard camera may not be available.
Contact Galloway Jefcoat to Discuss Compensation
We understand vehicle accident victims often feel lost and unsure about what to do next. The thought of dealing with the insurance company can be overwhelming, particularly if you are dealing with a significant injury.
Our licensed injury attorneys have taken on many car crash cases and obtained millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients. We have extensive knowledge of the steps involved in a car crash case.
Schedule a free legal consultation today. (337) 984-8020