Some of the most disastrous collisions that occur each year on the busy roads of the northeast are pile up or chain reaction accidents. Usually occurring on high-speed highways, multi-car pile-up wrecks are chain reaction events involving many vehicles that often cause severe injuries and large scale property damage. With so many cars and drivers involved in these major accidents, it can also be difficult to determine who is at fault and responsible for accident victims' medical bills, vehicle damage, and other losses.
What are the Causes of Multi-Car Pile Up Accidents?
Multi-car accidents are chain-reaction collisions that can result from many different circumstances. Some of the most common triggers of chain reaction pile-ups include:
- Rear-End Collisions - A chain-reaction crash can start with a simple rear-end accident, which causes each car to slam into the car ahead of it.
- Bad Weather & Dangerous Road Conditions - Many multi-car collisions occur during inclement weather such as heavy rain, fog, or other natural elements that heighten the risk of driving. Difficult weather conditions cause poor visibility and slippery roads that make a pile-up crash far more likely.
- Reckless Drivers - Reckless driving, including speeding, sudden stops, and tailgating, can lead to a chain reaction pileup event.
- Distracted & Negligent Drivers - Distracted driving often leads drivers to make unsafe mistakes such as unsafe lane changes on a freeway without checking their blind spots, and can unintentionally set off a chain reaction of collisions.
- Drowsy Driving - Drowsy drivers who fall asleep, even for a split second, are likely to lose control of their cars and drift into other lanes or even oncoming traffic.
- Drunk Driving - Intoxicated drivers and drivers under the influence of drugs are likely to drive recklessly and at dangerously high speeds, which may trigger a multi-vehicle accident.
- Defective Auto Parts - defective or worn down auto parts can lead to brake failure, initiating multi-car collisions.
Who is Liable in a Multi-Car Crash?
Due to the large number of drivers involved, it can be difficult to identify the negligent party responsible for a multi-vehicle accident. In many cases, more than one driver may be at fault. In these situations, state law will determine liability in one of two ways:
- Comparative Negligence - Comparative fault states allow drivers who are partially at fault in a pile-up crash to recover damages from other drivers who also contributed to the accident. Under this approach, a driver who is determined to be 25 percent responsible for the accident would have their compensation award reduced by 25 percent.
- Contributory Negligence - Contributory negligence states make it more difficult for plaintiffs in a multi-vehicle pile-up to collect damages for their injuries.
A critical issue in determining liability involves drivers who do not leave a safe space between their car and the car in front of them. These drivers may be deemed partially at fault if their car is hit from behind and subsequently rear-ends the car in front of them.
What Should I Do if I've Been in a Multi-Vehicle Accident?
Pile-up accidents can be terrifying. Before anything else, make sure to move to the side of the roadway and away from any danger. Then, call for law enforcement, an ambulance, or other first responders and make sure that anyone injured in the accident receives the medical treatment they require.
Make sure to remain at the scene until a police officer arrives and files a police report, which will identify the other drivers involved in the crash and may also include witness statements.
Next, try to obtain information that may be crucial to your lawsuit. Other drivers' insurance company information and pictures of the accident scene will be helpful later on when making insurance claims. Write down any details concerning the accident that you can remember. This information may assist an accident reconstruction expert in the event that one is needed for litigation.
Accident victims should also make sure to get any and all medical treatment they need to recover.
Finally, contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible to ensure the protection of your rights and to find out if you can make a claim for compensation.
Call a Multi-Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in a multi-car pileup auto accident, consider contacting the experienced personal injury lawyers at The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP to discuss your legal options. Our multi-car collision attorneys have decades of experience with multi-vehicle collisions and have helped thousands of clients recover maximum compensation awards for their injuries and medical expenses. Our experienced car accident attorneys approach the attorney-client relationship with compassion and are ready to help injury victims navigate the legal process during a very challenging time.
Speak with an experienced auto accident attorney for a confidential consultation and free case evaluation by filling out our online contact form at InjuryLawyer.com or by calling our phone number, 1-800-624-8888.
When we take on a new client, we adopt them as part of our family, and our trial lawyers fight for them in every way possible. That has been our motivating force in capturing billions of dollars in financial compensation through settlements and jury verdicts for clients we have represented during the past 50-plus years.
Your initial consultation with our multi-car pileup accident lawyers will always be FREE of charge. We work on a contingency fee basis. This means that if we agree to handle your case, there are no legal fees unless we are successful in getting you financial awards.