The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports almost two million multiple-vehicle collisions yearly in the US. These accidents are often complex, and determining who was at fault can take weeks.
The more injured parties involved in an accident, the more difficult and time-consuming it can be to assess liability and negotiate fair compensation. Multiple insurance companies may be involved with their own investigators and competing interests. How will you get the funds you need to recover from your injuries?
If you were involved in a multiple-vehicle collision recently, you need an experienced personal injury attorney fighting for the most compensation for your injuries. The multiple-vehicle collision lawyers at Nix Patterson can assist you today.
A multiple-vehicle collision is where three or more vehicles are involved in the accident. Many people may call this type of crash a pileup, especially when five, six, or more vehicles are involved. Multiple vehicle pile ups are common on highways where a dozen or more vehicles could be involved in a crash.
With that in mind, many multiple-vehicle crashes may involve just four or five vehicles. Determining who was at fault is usually complicated, but your car accident attorney will get to the bottom of it.
These severe accidents happen for many reasons. Some multi-vehicle crashes are simple, such as when one car rear-ends another at a traffic light, which causes a chain reaction collision with other vehicles in front. Or, the crash could be as complex as a multi-car pileup on the interstate in the fog. There also are other factors that often cause multiple-vehicle collisions:
In many multi-vehicle crashes, there was one accident, then another happened, causing even more vehicles to be involved. Sometimes, the initial crash is easy to figure out, such as a drunk driver losing control. That said, determining liability is challenging in other situations, where one crash blocks the road, and other cars add to the initial collision. Having an experienced multiple-vehicle accident lawyer on your side is invaluable.
Like any serious auto accident, there can be severe injuries in multi-vehicle crashes, such as those listed below. Remember to be checked by a medical professional if you were in a multi-vehicle crash; your injuries might not be apparent at first:
A TBI can result from a multi-car accident when impacts come from multiple directions in a severe crash. Over 50,000 people die yearly from TBIs, and approximately 80,000 suffer severe disabilities. If you have a TBI in an auto accident, you will likely need extensive medical care and time for recovery, so obtaining a fair settlement is vital.
The severe impact of a multi-vehicle crash can torque the body and cause a serious spine injury that leads to paralysis or other impairments. If you are paralyzed, you will need hundreds of thousands in medical care every year, most likely for life.
The back is tough, but it isn’t designed for the tremendous impact forces of a car accident, so serious back injuries are common. Back injuries range from minor sprains and strains to fractured vertebrae or herniated or ruptured discs. Many back injuries might not be noticeable at first, so make sure a doctor sees you after the accident.
If your vehicle catches on fire after a multi-vehicle crash, you could suffer severe burns in the fire. Or, you could be burned by hot fluids, steam, hot surfaces, or chemicals. Those with severe burns may face months or years of surgeries and a painful recovery; others may be permanently disabled.
Broken legs, arms, hips, ankles, and feet are common after severe car accidents. A fractured pelvis can be especially painful and challenging to recover from. You may need surgeries to receive proper treatment if you have multiple broken bones.
Like any car accident, there are many possible contributors to multi-vehicle accidents, including:
One of the most common causes of multi-vehicle accidents is distracted driving. Did you know that it takes only a few seconds at 65 MPH to travel the length of a football field? If a driver looks down for three seconds to check a text message, that momentary distraction could cause a severe multi-vehicle crash. Other common distractions that lead to these accidents are talking on the phone, talking to passengers, checking GPS directions, and eating or drinking. The police can check cell phone records to see if a driver was distracted by phone use during the accident.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is another common cause of these accidents. Drunk or drugged driving affects reflexes and judgment and can affect our perceptions and inhibitions. Drunk driving may cause drivers to drift out of their lane, speed, or exhibit aggressive driving, often leading to severe accidents.
Another major factor in multi-vehicle car accidents is speeding. When drivers exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for conditions, they don’t have as much time to slow down and avoid possible hazards, such as stopped traffic. Speeding lowers your ability to stop and maneuver the vehicle safely.
Rain, snow, sleet, ice, and fog cause many multi-vehicle crashes. This is why it is essential to slow down and drive cautiously when weather conditions worsen. Slick roads and reduced visibility cause many serious accidents, including multi-vehicle car crashes.
In any car accident, the driver who did not practice their duty of care to keep others safe will usually be found liable for injuries and damages. However, multi-vehicle accidents could have more than one driver at fault, so investigators will likely need to investigate extensively to find out who did what.
It’s common in a multi-car crash for all drivers to point fingers at someone else and not admit fault. Onlookers could say that one driver was to blame, but that is not always true. Determining who is at fault for a sizable multi-vehicle crash is rarely simple.
Eyewitnesses not in the multi-vehicle crash are usually vital to the investigation. They could be mistaken in their observations, but they are typically impartial and will base their statements on what they saw or think they saw. On the other hand, involved drivers have an interest in avoiding responsibility.
If several eyewitnesses offer a similar story of what happened, this is strong evidence in determining blame. If you were in a multi-vehicle crash, you should always try to get witnesses’ names and contact information for the police.
A significant issue in many multi-car crashes is that the liable party or parties don’t have enough insurance coverage to pay for everyone’s damages. In many states, all drivers must have at least $30,000 of coverage per person, $60,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 for vehicle damage. Other states require less.
Obviously, when multiple cars and injuries are involved, this isn’t enough coverage to pay everyone fairly. It is essential to have a skilled multiple-vehicle crash attorney fighting for your rights and compensation in this situation. Once the available insurance money is gone, it’s gone, so time is of the essence to get what you deserve during settlement negotiations.
A word of warning: When insurance adjusters find out about a serious multiple-vehicle accident, they may begin calling all the involved drivers and get their statements on record. The goal is to get someone to say something that harms their case. So, you should always retain an attorney immediately after a multiple-vehicle crash and let them speak for you.
A multiple-vehicle car accident often involves severe injuries to multiple people, and determining who was at fault can be complicated. If you were injured in one of these accidents, you need a multi-vehicle accident attorney at Nix Patterson to fight for your rights.
There is only so much insurance money available, and you need to get the most for your injuries, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. Contact our multiple-vehicle accident lawyers now for a complimentary case consultation.
Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below.
"*" indicates required fields