It is not uncommon for traffic accidents to involve more than one vehicle. Multi-vehicle collisions are common on highways and at intersections. In these types of collisions, determining fault can be difficult. Sometimes only one driver is at fault for the multi-vehicle crash. In other cases, multiple drivers acted negligently and contributed to the collision. Suppose you are not sure how your insurance company will determine responsibility after a multi-vehicle collision. In that case, it is wise to reach out to an Alabama car accident attorney who can help gather evidence and determine who is liable.
Common Causes of Multi-Vehicle Collisions
Many different scenarios can trigger a multi-vehicle collision. Many multi-car pile-ups occur because one car collides with a vehicle in front of them. This collision sets off a chain reaction involving several more vehicles. Typically, rear-end accidents are not the most deadly or devastating type of car accident. However, when a rear-end accident sets off a chain reaction on the highway, the victims are at risk of fires, and it can be difficult for emergency personnel to access victims.
Careless lane changes and reckless driving can also cause multi-vehicle collisions. Texting while driving is a common culprit for reckless lane changes. Distracted drivers can weave back and forth between lanes or even straddle the centerline, causing multiple vehicles to collide with each other. Finally, 18-wheeler jackknife accidents can cause multi-vehicle collisions. When a large semi-truck jackknifes, it blocks oncoming traffic. Drivers may not be able to avoid hitting the semi-truck, causing deadly injuries.
Assigning Fault in a Multiple-Vehicle Car Accident
The driver who failed to uphold the duty of care to ensure that the surrounding drivers stay safe will be financially responsible for the domino effect of injuries in most cases, but not all. In multi-vehicle car accidents, drivers involved may point fingers at the person who started the accident but not admit any fault. Witnesses and other motorists may believe that the driver who started the chain reaction is entirely responsible for the entire action. However, it is possible that another driver also contributed to the accident through negligence.
Determining liability can be complex, especially when more vehicles are involved. If you have been injured in a multi-vehicle collision, you will need to work with an attorney to gather evidence to prove that another person or people caused the accident. An injured party may need to bring a personal injury lawsuit against multiple parties. For example, if you became injured in a multi-vehicle collision and Driver A was found to be 30% at fault and Driver B was found to be 70% at fault, you can pursue a case against each driver.
What to Do After a Multi-Vehicle Collision
After a multi-vehicle collision, it is essential to call 911 and request an ambulance. You should also ask for a police officer to come to the scene and file an accident report. The report will contain details that are vital for determining fault down the road. The officer at the scene will assess the facts and take photos, and review camera footage, if available. The police report will contain lots of evidence to review that could help determine fault in a multi-vehicle crash.
Important Factors When Establishing Fault
Ultimately, determining fault in a multi-vehicle collision will depend on the evidence gathered. Every case is unique and requires a comprehensive investigation to examine all of the specific factors of the accident. Doing so will help insurance adjusters get to the bottom of which party or parties are at fault. Some of the pieces of evidence and facts that may be reviewed include the following:
- Video or dashcam footage of the car accident that may be available
- Photos of the accident scene that show skid marks that lead to the point of impact
- Photos of vehicle damage and debris from other vehicles or dangerous road conditions
- Eyewitness testimony
- The official police report
- Cell phone records showing that one or more drivers were texting at the time of the crash
- Any other records of traffic violations, such as speeding or drunk driving
- Whether all motorists had functioning brake lights
- Whether any motorists were speeding or following too closely
- Whether there was appropriate signage on the road
Reach Out to a Car Accident Attorney in Alabama
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a multi-vehicle collision in Alabama, you need a knowledgeable and skilled attorney on your side. At Heninger Garrison Davis, our attorneys have extensive experience handling many types of vehicle accident claims. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.