Accidents involving multiple vehicles are particularly terrifying. A victim's car might be hit not once, but numerous times by the force and ricochet effect of other vehicles. People often suffer catastrophic injuries, and fatalities are common, especially in highway crashes.
There are many complexities to multi-car accidents. Learn how a skilled personal injury attorney works in your favor.
Causes of Multi-Car AccidentsWhile multi-vehicle crashes can happen in various situations, they're most likely to occur at busy intersections and on highways. Here are some of the reasons negligent drivers cause tragic wrecks.
Multi-vehicle crashes are common when drivers don't slow down for inclement conditions such as rain, ice, and snow. As an example, a severe snowstorm in February 2019 contributed to a tragic 15-car pileup on I-70, with nearly 50 vehicles somehow damaged or run off the road. One woman lost her life as a result.
Drivers' reaction times are severely compromised as the speedometer needle rises. The force of impact is also greater when someone exceeds the speed limit, increasing the likelihood that when struck, the vehicle will cross paths with other cars, trucks, and SUVs.
Consuming alcohol or drugs can impair a motorist’s reaction time, judgment, concentration, and vision. He can drift into other lanes, misjudge distances, and not stop quickly enough.
Operating a vehicle while fatigued affects an individual's abilities in similar ways as being drunk. Veering into oncoming traffic or shorting the distance when a vehicle in front stops suddenly are two ways a tired driver could cause a collision involving multiple vehicles.
Distractions, such as eating and drinking, looking at a GPS, talking on a cellphone, or texting takes a person's eyes and mind off driving and his hands off the steering wheel.
Why Multi-Vehicle Crash Claims Are Difficult
If you suffer injuries in this type of collision, you'll have to file a claim. But do you know who's at fault? Determining liability is one of many reasons why settling a claim for compensation in these cases is more complex, and often takes longer. Here are some reasons for this:
Multiple Negligent Parties
In some multi-vehicle crashes, more than one driver can be negligent. This complicates the process of establishing fault.
Many passengers are often injured in these collisions, and could also be entitled to compensation from negligent parties.
The insurance company is only responsible for paying victims up to the policy limit. There may not be enough coverage to fully compensate everyone hurt in the wreck.
Cross-Claims By Negligent Parties
In multi-vehicle crashes, it's not uncommon for potentially negligent drivers to point the finger at each other, claiming someone else was more at fault and therefore, primarily responsible for compensating injured individuals.
Depending on the accident cause, the at-fault driver may be charged with a crime and prosecuted. This may further complicate your claim, but you may also have a right to restitution of some of your damages in a criminal case.
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