If you have been injured in a car accident that involves more than two vehicles, it makes an already difficult situation that much more so. Establishing fault in these accidents can be exceptionally challenging, and more than one of the other drivers involved may be deemed responsible for the damages you suffer. Additionally, multi-car accidents have the potential to be even more dangerous than other car accidents, which means that your total damages (or losses) can be that much higher.
A Forward Driver
Often pileups are caused by the negligence of a forward driver who is driving too fast to react safely to the effects of bad weather, an accident, an animal, or anything else on the road. If this driver spins out or crashes into another vehicle or anything else, it can make it nearly impossible for those drivers who follow to react safely. It is important to note here that every driver is ultimately responsible for driving safely relative to what the road has to offer. This includes adjusting one’s speed to accommodate for any hindrances to safety and following the rules of the road. When a rear driver fails to live up to this standard, he or she can share fault in the pileup.
Multi-car accidents often happen in intersections, where traffic moving in all directions converges, and more than one driver can share fault. If, for example, a speeding motorist plows through a red light and drives directly into the side of your vehicle, that driver is clearly at fault for the T-bone accident that leaves you injured. If, however, a driver who is glued to his phone fails to recognize the accident in the intersection and keeps traveling forward (making the accident a multi-car affair), that driver will very likely also share a percentage of fault for the damages you sustain.
Multiple Insurance Companies
Another complicating factor about multi-car accidents is that you may be dealing with more than one insurance provider, which makes an already arduous process that much more so. In such an instance, having the professional legal counsel of an experienced car accident attorney on your side can prove invaluable. Beware of the following attempts by the insurance companies involved to keep your settlements as low as possible:
Denying your claim outright
Making an early, minimal settlement offer
Casting doubt on the policyholder’s percentage of responsibility
Casting doubt on the extent of your damages
Making the claims process that much more complicated and protracted