Who is at fault when there is a multiple-vehicle accident?
A multiple vehicle accident, also referred to as a chain reaction crash, is an accident involving three or more vehicles. Chain reaction accidents can be extremely dangerous. One minute, you are peacefully driving down a roadway or highway, then the next second you are trying desperately to avoid crashing into stopped vehicles ahead of you. Most multiple vehicle accidents start with one initial collision, and then secondary accidents happen as a result.
Fault can be hard to determine in multiple vehicle accidents. Our Fayetteville, West Virginia car accident attorneys discuss the cause of chain reaction accidents and fault issues surrounding these types of cases below.
Causes of multiple vehicle accidents
Chain reaction accidents typically arise out of an initial first crash, which spurs more accidents. Several scenarios cause chain reaction accidents. In the first instance, two or more vehicles may be stopped at an intersection when an approaching car hits the last car in line. The impact of the crash can cause the front vehicles to push forward, creating a domino effect.
Alternatively, the situation seen time and time again involves one driver having to stop suddenly when the car in front comes to a halt. The initial rear-end accident may cause one or more other rear-end collisions as the cars behind find themselves unable to stop.
Fault in a multiple vehicle accident
No matter how the accident occurred, fault will become an issue of contention. Chain reaction crashes often involve serious injuries, which will leave the accident victims with considerable medical bills and associated damages. To obtain coverage for these losses, car accident victims may seek compensation from the driver or drivers at-fault for the collision.
Each chain-reaction crash is unique, thus requiring a thorough analysis of the actions of each driver involved. While the driver who caused the first crash will be liable for each subsequent crash, this is not always the case. If one of the drivers was tailgating another, thus contributing to the pileup, this driver may be partially responsible for the accident. Anyone injured in a chain reaction accident should consult with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible for help with determining fault and your legal rights.