It is not always immediately clear who is at fault in a multi-vehicle car accident. Determining responsibility for these collisions can be confusing, especially when more than two vehicles are involved. From chain reactions to intersection pile-ups, these crashes can result in life-changing injuries for multiple individuals.
If you have suffered injuries in a multiple vehicle accident, determining the at-fault party is vital to your chances of recovering monetary compensation. Making a case for liability could be easier said than done without the guidance of an injury attorney.
Multi-vehicle accidents are unfortunately common. While they do not make up the majority of vehicle accidents, they represent a large portion of fatal collisions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly 40% of fatal accidents involve multiple vehicles.
Determining Liability in Multi-Vehicle Crashes
Determining fault in these accidents can vary in difficulty, given that multi-car accidents can occur in many different ways. No matter how these accidents happen, establishing fault is vital to ensure the responsible party is held accountable.
Many multi-vehicle accidents occur as the result of a rear-end collision. In many instances, one rear-end crash can result in a chain reaction that involves numerous vehicles. When this occurs, the first driver who negligently collides with another vehicle is often primarily at fault.
For example, if the rear driver in a three-vehicle crash causes the vehicle in front of it to strike a third car, only the rear driver is responsible.
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Helpful Evidence for Proving Liability
Determining who was at fault in a multi-car accident is one thing. Proving it is another. To give yourself an opportunity to recover monetary compensation from the at-fault driver, you will need evidence to support your claims.
Witness testimony is often the strongest evidence available. When impartial third parties appear in court and testify that another person was responsible for the crash, many juries give their testimony significant weight.
Unlike the parties in the case, independent witnesses have no biases or reasons to stretch the truth. This evidence is even strongest when several independent witnesses corroborate each other’s accounts of the accident. When you have more than one independent witness backing up your claim, you could be in a strong position to prevail at trial.
Video evidence is also especially powerful in these cases. Unlike accidents with one or two vehicles, it can be difficult for jurors to paint a mental picture of wrecks involving multiple cars. Video of the accident happening in real-time can be invaluable to a jury as they determine liability.
Video evidence could come from security footage from nearby businesses or even the dashboard camera of one of the cars involved in the crash.
While not admissible at trial, the police report for the accident could be invaluable to your case. This report will identify all of the parties involved in the crash, as well as any witnesses the police spoke to at the scene. In many ways, the police report could be your best avenue for uncovering evidence of fault.
When Drivers Are Not at Fault
Not every multi-vehicle accident occurs as the result of driver negligence. In fact, many large-scale collisions are not the fault of any of the parties involved in the crash. Some accidents happen due to dangerous road conditions.
For example, if the state fails to maintain a highway or replace a missing stop sign, they could bear responsibility for a multi-vehicle accident that occurs on their roadway.
These accidents also frequently occur as the result of a mechanical defect. Through no fault of the driver, a vehicle or one of its parts could fail, causing a devastating crash that forever changes the lives of everyone involved.
Some potentially dangerous vehicle defects include issues with braking systems, headlights, or steering wheels. Under these circumstances, you could have the right to pursue a lawsuit against the maker of the vehicle or its parts.
Reach Out to an Attorney Regarding Your Multi-Vehicle Accident Claim
While it may not immediately be clear how an accident occurred, an Atlanta injury attorney could help you get to the bottom of it.
The team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers has had success pursuing cases involving multi-vehicle accidents and winning. We understand how to investigate these accidents and determine who was at fault.
To learn more about how we can help, call (404) 888-8888 to speak with a member of our team.