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Determining Liability in Multi-Car Pileups

October 16, 2017

Determining Liability in Multi-Car Pileups

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there are almost six million car accidents every year. One third of these are multi-vehicle accidents, also known as multi-car pileups – a very dangerous and expensive type of accident.

When multiple vehicles collide with each other from different angles, the resulting damage is usually severe and injuries can be life threatening depending on where one is in the chain reaction. Multiple cars mean more broken glass, more damaged car parts, and the possibility of leaking fuel at the accident scene. This type of accident can occur at both high speeds on multi-lane highways as well as at low speeds on local roads at busy intersections.

Determining Liability

When drivers get behind the wheel, they have a responsibility or “duty of care” toward others on the road. This means that they should drive according to the rules of traffic and in a reasonable manner. In a few instances of multi-car pileups, the drivers involved were exercising duty of care, but circumstances beyond their control caused the accident – a heart attack for instance, or skidding on black ice while driving cautiously. In such cases elimination of fault, or mitigation of fault will be declared. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

The insurance payouts for a multi-car pileup are generally very high, so insurance companies take care to send out trained accident investigators to assess blame in such an accident. Together with the police, they will take careful, detailed notes of the circumstances surrounding the accident and photograph the scene from many angles, noting things like damages, the position of the cars, skid marks, and any damages to adjacent property.

Drivers and their passengers will be interviewed along with other witnesses to see if negligence was involved in setting off a chain reaction. Were the cars following too closely, or driving too fast? Normally the car that starts the reaction is at fault, but two or more cars can share the blame. Most states follow the rule of comparative negligence, which means fault can be divided among several vehicles and compensation awarded in accordance with the percentage of fault attributed.

Camden Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Advocate for Victims of Personal Injuries

Generally, these kinds of cases involve multiple parties and multiple insurance companies who want to put the blame on someone other than their client. If you have been in a car accident in South Jersey that results in complex litigation issues, the experienced Camden car accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law can help you through your case to achieve the best possible outcome. For a free consultation contact us online or call 856-414-0010 today.

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