Determining Fault for Multi-Vehicle Pile-Ups

An Albany car accident lawyer knows that determining fault in a crash involving just two cars can be complex. But what happens if you were involved in a multi-car pile-up? Is it even possible to find the at-fault driver and file an accident claim against their insurance?

The answer is yes if you hire an experienced attorney to investigate the accident and analyze the evidence. First, let us explain why multi-vehicle crashes happen.

Common Causes of Multi-Car Pile-Ups

Crashes involving three or more vehicles usually happen on busy highways at peak hours, when most people drive to and from work. The chain reaction can be sparked by several factors:

  • A distracted driver hits another car and other vehicles get involved
  • Speeding
  • Improper lane changing
  • Failure to maintain a safe distance from other cars
  • Vehicle malfunction
  • Poor weather conditions (fog, wet or slippery road).

In any of these situations, there are ways of determining fault, by studying the entire dynamic of the traffic event.

More Than One Party Can Be at Fault for a Multi-Vehicle Accident

A skilled lawyer will analyze the decisions made by all the drivers involved in the crash. Thus, they may identify not one, but two or more drivers whose actions significantly contributed to the accident.

Georgia uses a comparative negligence principle in determining who has the right to seek damages in an accident. As long as you are less than 50% at fault, then you are eligible to file a claim. However, your own percentage of fault will also be calculated in order to reduce your claim value by that percentage.

Is the First Driver Who Started the Accident Always at Fault?

To the average person, it may appear logical that the driver at the front of multi-vehicle pile-ups is at fault. For an experienced Albany car accident lawyer, it is not as simple as that.

The first driver may have simply applied the brakes and the driver behind them who was tailgating them could not stop their car on time. Or, the first driver may have tried to yield the right of way, and the one behind them did not.

These findings will come to light after a painstaking analysis of the available evidence. And this is where you can help your lawyer win your case.

determining fault in a crash with multiple cars is complex

Be Extra Careful about Documenting the Crash Scene When Several Cars Are Involved

In the immediate aftermath of a multi-car pile-up, you must take as many pictures and videos of the scene as possible. It won’t be long until emergency and police vehicles arrive and move the wrecked vehicles out of the way.

At the same time, take photos of any significant elements, such as:

  • Traffic signals and signs
  • Potholes or debris on the road
  • General weather and road conditions
  • Skid marks.

In many cases, your attorney will give these photos and videos to accident reconstruction experts. Using special software, they can recreate the accident in 3D, showing exactly what happened and who is at fault for the accident.

Is It Difficult to Recover Damages in Multi-Vehicle Accidents?

Once your lawyer has evidence showing fault, the key difficulty is the fact that several other drivers and their passengers will file accident claims. The insurance requirements in Georgia provide for multiple victims, because drivers must carry the following minimum coverage:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident.

With several totaled cars involved, these minimum limits may not cover every claimant’s damages. Thus, your lawyer will analyze the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit naming all the at-fault drivers as defendants.

Consult With an Experienced Albany Car Accident Lawyer!

Finding out who is at fault for multi-car pile-ups is extremely complex. But you don’t have to figure it out on your own. An experienced Albany car accident lawyer at Joe Durham Jr., P.C. can do it for you.

The lawyer will examine the evidence, establish fault for all parties involved, and explain your legal rights. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you pay no fees until we win your claim.

We also offer each new client a free case review, so call us today at 229-210-6226!

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