Who Is At-Fault in a Multi-Car Crash?
Car crashes are referred to as “accidents” because they are nearly always avoidable. Most are caused by a reckless action that leads one vehicle to collide with another. Often, accident damages are limited to two vehicles, but it is not uncommon for a crash to set off a chain of events that leads to a multi-car crash.
It can be difficult to determine fault in multi-car crashes, because each driver sees a limited portion of the accident. Car accident lawyers at Reed & Terry, L.L.P. work with injury victims in the Sugar Land, Katy, and Richmond, TX, areas to establish liability in a multi-car crash so that their clients can be justly compensated for accident damages.
Multi-Car Crash Liability Myths
Many people have heard inaccurate information about how fault is determined in a multi-car crash. In most cases, people have been told that either the first or last driver in a chain of events crash is responsible for the entirety of accident damages. Neither of these statements is completely true.
The last driver to be involved in a multi-car crash is not usually found liable for accident damages. Actually, these drivers are usually completely cleared of accident liability, or in cases of shared liability, they tend to be assigned the smallest degree of fault. Since an accident already occurred prior to their involvement, they should not be held liable for damages related to the initial impact.
It is most common for people to assume that the first driver to be involved in a multi-car crash is responsible for the entirety of accident damages. After all, if they hadn’t crashed, no subsequent collisions would have taken place. While this is often found to be the case, there are exceptions. Depending on the details of an accident, more than one driver can be found to share liability.
Sharing Fault for a Multi-Car Crash
If one driver crashes into another, which then causes them to collide with another vehicle, and so on and so forth, the first driver is often found liable for all accident damages. However, if it is possible for another driver to stop the chain of events, and they fail to do so, or if another driver is involved in the collison by their own fault, they can share accident liability. Situations in which fault for a multi-car crash may be shared include:
- A driver is following too closely to the vehicle in front of them
- A driver is speeding and fails to stop in time to avoid colliding with vehicles that have been involved in an accident
- A driver is texting, using their cell phone, or is otherwise distracted and fails to avoid crashing into vehicles involved in an accident
Proving Accident Liability
Proving accident liability for a multi-car crash is often complex. Many drivers attempt to avoid responsibility, and when multiple vehicles are involved, most drivers only see or experience a small portion of the accident. If an injury victim suspects that another driver is at-fault for a collision, they should work with knowledgeable car accident attorneys to prove liability.
Our attorneys work with accident reconstruction experts to put together each piece of the accident so that we can pursue compensation for our clients. Evidence that may be used to demonstrate liability for a multi-car crash includes:
- Statements from involved parties
- Witness statements
- Skid marks or other evidence from the accident scene
- Vehicle damage (where were vehicles struck, how many times were they struck, etc.)
Individuals who are injured in a multi-car crash should work with a knowledgeable car accident attorney to establish liability and hold responsible parties accountable for accident damages. To find out how our attorneys can assist you in the aftermath of a crash, send us a message online, or call (281) 201-0988 at your earliest convenience.