How to Determine Liability After a Multi-Vehicle Accident

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claimed to have recorded over 5 million car accidents in the United States in 2020. 37% of the fatalities resulted from single-vehicle fatalities, while 63% resulted from multi-vehicle collisions. 

Naturally, multi-vehicle accidents involve multiple drivers, and they have the potential to cause multi-fatal injuries. 

So the biggest challenge is determining the motorist who was originally negligent in a multi-vehicle accident. It is more challenging than when the collision involves only two vehicles. 

The negligent driver’s actions cause other vehicles to mimic their actions. For instance, if they instantly hit the brakes, the force of a rear-end during a collision will push one car into the back of another. 

So you may wonder what can cause multi-vehicle car accidents. 

The following reasons have the potential to impair a driver’s visibility resulting in an accident: 

  • Poor road conditions
  • Distracted driving
  • Inclement Weather

The truth is that multi-vehicle accidents can result in severe damage and injuries. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer aids you in such situations and helps to receive fair compensation for  the sustained losses. These lawyers will come in handy, especially if you’re unsure how your insurance company assessed culpability in your multi-vehicle car accident.

Examples of Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Here are some of the types of multi-vehicle collisions.

  • A collision between two vehicles may result in them spinning into other cars.
  • When two vehicles collide in the rear.
  • A collision may be caused by a vehicle drifting, changing lanes, or merging with a vehicle in the next lane. A chain reaction may result from this as well. 
  • An accident occurs in a series of rear-endings involving more than two automobiles.

Assigning Liability to a Multi-Vehicle Accident

It’s quite complex to resolve multi-vehicle collisions. This is so because no driver will want to take the blame when assigning liability. Even with witnesses available, it may not be easy to pinpoint the cause of the accident. 

That’s why it’s essential to involve a lawyer experienced in personal injury law-car accidents. The lawyers might be able to work with the investigators to determine who was in the wrong. They may be able to look into who was too fast, carelessly or when distracted. 

Were the brakes applied unnecessary, or the change of lanes was abrupt? Moreover, determine the driver who had the right of way. They will try to choose the proximity of the cars to each other. 

So it is safe to allow car accident lawyers to be involved when making these inquiries. This will help to collect efficient data that will help when assigning blame and establishing liabilities. 

Let’s look at a few examples of establishing liability after a multi-vehicle accident. 

1. Study the Police Statement

Naturally, the police need to record every accident incident. The report needs to indicate any minor and fatal injuries, who was at fault during the accident, etc. 

Therefore, the insurance provider and your personal injury lawyer will examine the report to determine the specifics of your collision. 

So the police report is helpful when there is a discrepancy between your account and the other driver’s account. The statement will help evaluate whether the insurance company should accept your claim. 

2. The Witnesses’ Statement May Also Be Helpful

Witnesses who were not involved in the accident may play a vital role in situations like this. Often they treat their story as objective as chances are very high; they will narrate what they saw. 

It is natural for affected drivers to play the blame game and not accept responsibility. Often, they base their argument on the negligence of the individual who caused the first incident. 

The truth is several drivers in a collision may be victims during multi-vehicle accidents. So several witnesses can help affirm the cause of the accident if their stories corroborate. However, such a case may be challenging to resolve. That’s why it’s essential to involve the onlookers after a multi-vehicle accident. 

Ensure you take down their personal details that may be helpful in the long run. So ensure you have their names, phone numbers, and street address. This will make it easier to locate them and provide crucial information when required. 

3. Leverage Photos and Video Footage

In this era of technology, there is a great possibility that one of the car dash cams captured the event. Or bystanders recorded the occasion of the accident on their phones or cameras. 

Additionally, the local security cameras may save the day if the accident occurred in a good neighbourhood. 

All this footage from onlookers, local security cameras, or dash cams may help your car accident lawyers reconstruct the event that led to the accident. So ensure you’re aware if anyone has photos taken at the site that can help with your claim.

4. Other Specific Evidence Tied to Your Case 

Finally, chances are very slim to have similar vehicle collisions. Each vehicle collision is unique from the other ones. So depending on the facts of the collisions, your personal injury lawyer will need different types of evidence that can support your claim. 

A good example is black box data; a driver’s record may be handy for your attorney. This information might help them to be able to demonstrate liability if a commercial truck or other vehicles were at fault. 

And if there is a possibility of distraction on any drivers who caused the accident, your attorney may subpoena them to collect their cell phone records. All these small nuances may have a significant impact on your case. 

So it’s advisable to contact your local car accident lawyers immediately. They will conduct immediate investigations to unearth the evidence, as it can be time sensitive. 

Final Thoughts

It would help if you worked with a family law attorney as they understand the financial, physical, and emotional impact major injuries have on families. A comprehensive investigation will help to handle a multi-vehicle accident. 

This helps to narrow down all the individuals accountable for the accident. Therefore, your attorney will help prepare settlement negotiations as though a trial is imminent. 

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