Multiple-vehicle accidents happen most commonly in three ways:
The most common factors that contribute to multiple-vehicle accidents include:
A two-car accident is already a traumatic event for both parties involved, but what happens when more cars are involved and it turns into a pile up? How do insurance companies figure out who is at fault? Who pays? These are questions that can come up when dealing with a multi-car accident.
In the event of a multi-car accident, the police will investigate to try to determine who started the chain reaction that led to the accident. That is why you generally should not move your car after an accident, but there are certain circumstances under which you should. Safety is the most important concern and may necessitate moving cars away from traffic. If the accident is on an interstate or busy street, moving the cars to a safer location can avoid causing additional pile-ups. However, it is recommended that you stay in your vehicle with your seat-belt fastened if the scene of the accident is dangerous. Don’t risk getting out of the car until EMT and police have arrived and secured the scene.
Driver testimony, eyewitness testimony, computer data from the involved cars, surveillance footage, and/or other evidence at the accident scene will help determine who was at fault in a wreck. Police officials may also determine if any of the drivers were speeding, distracted, or under the influence of any substance that could affect their driving ability.
The more vehicles involved in a car accident the more complicated the case will be. Multi-car accidents have a higher risk of injuries and are more difficult to determine who is at fault. If more than one driver is at fault then they will share the blame and their insurance companies will decide the percentage of the blame.
For example, one driver could be 20% at fault while the other driver is 80% at fault, and that will be the percentage their insurance companies will pay in most jurisdiction. Being at fault also means that the other drivers can sue you for damages. That is why taking photos, if possible, at the scene of the accident is so important.
Contacting an attorney in these kinds of situations is highly suggested in order to avoid being blamed for something you didn’t cause.
Pictures of the scene of the crash and the surroundings help establish the location of the vehicles after the crash, the weather and road conditions, and road signs. These factors are important to consider when determining liability and who is at-fault. If your injuries prevent you from taking photos, you should ask someone else to take pictures for you.
Likewise, if someone in your vehicle is seriously hurt in the crash, you should help and take photos for them. Pictures can help establish if a car was speeding by showing the length of skid marks and how far a car was pushed, or moved, after a crash.
Photos can also depict the debris on the street and the damage caused to the vehicles, which can be helpful in determining who hit who. In extreme crashes with serious injuries or death, photographs can be used by an accident lawyer and their experts in the investigation and reconstruction of the accident.
Additionally, witnesses can be very helpful in determining who caused a multi-vehicle crash. They can provide a better understanding of how the accident occurred and how he or she observed the entire wreck. After an accident, you should try to get contact information from any witnesses available to you.
When a dispute exists about who is responsible for the accident, a witness can sometimes resolve the dispute. A witness that supports your version of how the accident happened can result in an insurance company accepting liability on behalf of their insured.
If your injuries prevent you from getting witness information, try and ask someone to get the names and contact information of bystanders and other drivers.
The first step is to seek immediate medical attention, even if you believe you were not injured. The shock and trauma can desensitize you to potentially significant injuries. It may take hours, days, or even weeks for the symptoms of injuries to present themselves. Delaying medical attention could not only harm your well-being, but it can also cause hardships later on in the insurance claims process.