Multi-vehicle accidents can cause devastating injuries or deaths because the victims’ vehicles are often hit multiple times from different directions. In addition, the force of the impact could hurl their vehicles into others. In addition, gas leaks can increase the risk of catastrophic injuries or burns if vehicles catch on fire. These accidents happen for many reasons, such as:
- Not driving for weather conditions
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Rubbernecking—staring at another accident instead of the road
- Failing to drive safely in construction zones
How Do You Prove Who Is at Fault in a Multi-Vehicle Accident?
In order to receive the compensation you are entitled to, you must prove who caused the crash, the extent of your injuries, and the amount you should receive. Proving liability in a multi-vehicle crash can be challenging because more than one driver could be at fault. In addition, these claims involve larger settlements, so insurance companies aggressively fight these claims and often hire investigators to investigate the cause of the accident.
You will most likely need to hire your own accident reconstruction expert or other investigator to determine the liable parties. Identifying all potentially responsible drivers is crucial to ensuring that you receive all the compensation you deserve. Your attorney should have a network of experienced experts in this field that he recommends.
An investigator will of course focus on the drivers’ behaviors. He may be interested in the following about any of the drivers:
- Whether they had any outstanding warrants
- Whether they were intoxicated from alcohol or drug use
- Whether there were any open containers of alcohol in a vehicle
- Whether any narcotics was found on a driver or passenger or in the vehicle
- Whether any of the drivers were driving on a suspended license or did not have any valid driver’s license
- Whether any of the drivers were uninsured
- Whether any witnesses or other drivers claimed someone was driving aggressively or recklessly
- Whether any driver was talking on his cell phone or texting
An expert will thoroughly investigate the accident in arriving at a conclusion as to who initially caused the crash and any other drivers who contributed to it. This can involve taking these steps:
- Review the police report and discuss the accident with the officer at the scene. The expert will be especially interested in knowing the officer’s conclusions as to what caused the crash, whether citations were issued, and whether any driver was arrested.
- Interview witnesses, drivers, and passengers.
- Take photographs of the damage to the vehicles, the accident scene, weather conditions, skid marks, damaged trees, stop signs, and other property.
- Review the drivers’ driving records for arrests, tickets, accidents, and other relevant information.
- Reenact the accident if the expert is an accident reconstruction expert.
You can also rely on other evidence to help prove who was at fault in the crash. Police officers who investigated the accident could offer compelling testimony regarding its cause. Others may have taken helpful pictures. Witnesses, other drivers, and passengers can also provide information as to how the accident occurred. If your wreck occurred near a business, you may be able to retrieve a surveillance tape that recorded the sequence of events.
Unique Challenges in Multi-Vehicle Crash Claims
Multi-vehicle crashes are much more complicated than two vehicle crashes and have their own unique issues in terms of negotiating a fair settlement. Some of these challenges include:
- Identifying all the liable parties can be challenging, and some negligent drivers may point the finger at other drivers.
- Even when you determine which drivers should compensate you, there is only a limited pot of insurance money available to compensate all victims of the crash. These accidents tend to result in many people being hurt and filing claims for the same insurance proceeds. That is why identifying all liable parties is crucial to obtaining what you deserve.
- Negotiating your settlement is much more complicated because your attorney must often simultaneously negotiate with numerous insurance adjusters, some blaming another driver and with their own arguments as why your claim should be denied or reduced.
You can prove who is liable for compensating you in a multi-vehicle crash and obtain the compensation you should receive—if you have the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney. If you were injured in one of these accidents, start an online chat to schedule a free case evaluation to learn how David Brauns can assist you.