Many Factors Must Be Considered to Determine Who Is at Fault in Multi-Vehicle Accidents
While any car accident can be serious, multi-vehicle collisions can be terrifying and often result in grave injuries and death. These crashes are also much more complicated than two-vehicle accidents, where it is often easy to determine who was at fault. In multi-car wrecks, a vehicle may have hit the first motorist, but other drivers could also have contributed to the additional crashes by their own unsafe driving.
What Investigators Look at When Figuring Out Liability
Investigators trying to determine which motorists were responsible for a multi-vehicle crash will review the police report; speak to the police officers at the scene; interview drivers, passengers, and any witnesses; and review photos of the accident scene. They could also take their own photographs of the scene, the vehicles, skid marks, guardrails, damaged trees, fences, and anything else that pertains to the accident. In determining fault, they will look at a number of factors that could show a driver was at least partially responsible, including:
- First vehicle to strike. Which driver was the first one to hit another vehicle?
- Weather. Were drivers driving appropriately for the weather conditions?
- Speeding. Were any drivers going over the legal speed limit?
- Driver distractions. Were drivers talking on their cellphones, texting, eating, fiddling with the GPS or music, or engaging in any other distracted driving practices?
- Drowsy driving. Did any drivers fall asleep or were they drowsy because of alcohol, street drugs, or prescription medication?
- Intoxicated driving. Was any driver driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs? In addition, were there open alcohol containers or drugs found in any of the vehicles?
- Following too closely. Was any of the drivers too close to the vehicle ahead of him or was he tailgating another driver?
- License problems. Were any of the drivers driving on a suspended license or with no license?
- Failure to yield. Did any drivers run a stop sign or go through a red light?
Investigators reviewing all these factors can draw conclusions as to who caused the accident, who contributed to additional crashes, and the proportion of fault each driver faces. These cases are very complicated and an injured victim will need to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to determine who may be sued. The attorney may recommend hiring an accident reconstruction expert to help prove the liability of the multiple parties involved in the wreck.
If you or a family member was injured in a multi-vehicle crash, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible who can take the necessary steps to determine the liable drivers. Our experienced legal team has had over 31 years of experience helping accident victims like you. Call us at 888.716.8021 for a free consultation to learn about the compensation you could be awarded and how we can help you.
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