Who Is Liable in a Multi-Car Accident?

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Liability in car accidents is never simple to determine. But in some cases, it is extremely difficult to say who was at fault and who has the right to recover damages. Such is the case of a multi-car accident. As any Atlanta car accident attorney knows, when three or more vehicles crash into each other, a lot of people suffer injuries. And all the drivers will start blaming each other.

As a Hispanic person, you may be targeted by the other drivers due to cultural bias or because they believe that you do not know your rights.

You should find an experienced Spanish-speaking Atlanta car accident attorney for any situation when you need to file an insurance claim. If you were involved in a multi-car accident it is even more important to protect your rights and make sure that the parties at fault for your injuries are held liable.

The Effect of Comparative Negligence on a Multi-Car Accident: Who Is at Fault?

Our state relies on a legal principle called modified comparative negligence in personal injury cases. This principle allows a person to recover damages after an accident caused by another person’s negligence only if they were less than 50% at fault for the event.

As an Atlanta car accident attorney will explain to you during the free case review, there are very rare cases when only one driver is responsible for causing an accident. Thus, by analyzing the actions of all the drivers involved in a multi-car accident it is possible to determine one of the following.

  • One driver was mostly at fault for the crash.
  • Several drivers were mostly at fault for the crash.
  • No driver was at fault for the crash.

While the last instance is very rare, a multi-car accident can be caused by external causes, not related to the drivers.

What Are the Causes Leading to a Multi-Car Accident?

With so many busy highways and people always in a hurry to get to work, every once in a while we hear of a significant pileup accident. The images show parts of cars scattered over the road and some vehicles so badly crushed that it is impossible to tell the make and model.

But could the other drivers not avoid the collision with the first two vehicles involved in the crash? Let’s look at the most common causes of multi-car accidents.

1. Poor Visibility

Driving at night or during a foggy day is risky, especially on a highway where all the drivers choose the fast lanes. Many drivers who were injured in a multi-car accident described the situation as suddenly seeing another vehicle in front of them, almost out of nowhere.

As any Atlanta car accident attorney knows, once this chain reaction of collisions starts in the night or in fog, it takes some time before other drivers become aware of the danger and stop their car safely or avoid the pileup.

2. Wet or Icy Roads

Cars take significantly longer to come to a full stop after applying the brakes in various road conditions. According to specialists, a car driving at 35 mph takes:

  • 60-100 feet to stop on a dry road
  • +120 feet to stop on a wet road
  • +600 feet to stop on an icy road.

Thus, on an icy road, the average car needs six times the distance to stop compared to a dry road. And this is one of the main reasons why a multi-car accident will happen when the roads are icy. While some drivers are careful and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them, others do not.

Chain-reaction accidents usually occur on busy freeways.

3. Speeding

Speeding remains one of the leading causes of traffic collisions, including multi-car accidents. At high speed, a driver is no longer able to properly control their vehicle, especially if they suddenly see another car in front of them.

The risk of a multi-car accident increases if drivers are speeding in poor visibility conditions and inclement weather.

4. Reckless Driving

Tailgating, changing lanes frequently and other instances of reckless driving contribute to the risk of starting or getting into a multi-vehicle pileup. Just one reckless driver can initiate a chain reaction, especially during rush hours when the highways are very busy.

5. Poor Road Conditions

Potholes, obstacles, and debris on the road can lead to a multi-car accident. Once the first car gets stuck, others will continue to pile up, until drivers realize that something is wrong. This is one of those instances where the fault may not belong to one or several of the drivers, but to local authorities that should keep the roads in good condition.

How Do You Recover Damages after a Multi-Car Accident?

The most difficult position is being the first driver who initiated the multi-car accident. However, an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney will be able to prove your right to seek compensation, if you are less than 50% at fault for the crash.

In other instances, the difficulty is making sure that you get the full compensation you deserve. Usually, there are several accident victims filing insurance claims after a multi-car accident. At the same time, there may be several insurance policies to file against if more than one driver is found to be at fault for the accident.

Finally, many pileup accidents involve a large commercial vehicle, such as a semi-truck or even an 18-wheeler. In this case, all the eligible plaintiffs will seek compensation from the trucking company that employs the negligent truck driver.

Present Your Case to a Spanish-Speaking Atlanta Car Accident Attorney!

At Diaz & Gaeta law firm no case is too complex to handle. We have the knowledge of the law, the experience, and the dedication to help every injured person recover their economic and non-economic damages. If you were involved in a multi-car accident, you are overwhelmed by the difficulty of knowing who is liable for your injuries and damages.

We encourage you to bring your case to us and explain what happened to a Spanish-speaking Atlanta car accident attorney. We will investigate the crash thoroughly and we will identify all the parties who were negligent and should pay for your damages. Do not waste valuable time.

Schedule a free case review with one of our Atlanta injury lawyers as soon as possible after the accident!