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Multi-Car Accidents: How to Determine Fault and Stay Safe

Many accidents on the road involve more than one car, especially accidents that occur in hazardous winter conditions or on the highway.  These multi-car accidents often result in more serious injuries and greater liability than two car crashes. In addition, autobahn-837643_1920-300x199once the accident has happened, the danger has not necessarily passed. Moreover, liability—or who is responsible—can be especially difficult to determine. So, how can you figure out who is at fault, and what should you do if you have been involved in a multi-car accident?

Make Safety Your First Priority after a Multi-Car Accident

If you have been in a multi-car crash, your first priority should be staying safe. Stay in your car with your seat belt fastened until the police or EMTs tell you it is safe to exit. The biggest risk at this point is getting hit by another car after leaving your vehicle.

Make sure everyone else in your vehicle is OK and still wearing their seat belts as well.

If you are badly injured, call 911 to alert them to the fact that you need an ambulance and wait for the EMTs to come help you and transport you to a hospital. Of course, this also applies if anyone else in the car is seriously hurt.

Put your hazard lights on to warn oncoming traffic to slow down and steer clear of your car.

Protect Your Legal Rights After a Multi-Car Accident

From this point on, it’s crucial to take proactive steps to ensure your well-being and protect yourself legally. If you’re not seriously injured and law enforcement has indicated that it is safe to exit your vehicle, gather essential documentation from the other drivers involved. This includes exchanging contact information, insurance details, and vehicle registration documents. It’s also a good idea to write down your recollection of the accident while the details are fresh in your mind. Note the sequence of events, any relevant road conditions, and the positions of the vehicles involved. If possible, capture photographs of the accident scene, focusing on vehicle damage, road markings, and any contributing factors like weather conditions or obstructions.

Talking with the police officer overseeing the scene is another crucial step. Providing them with your account of the incident can help ensure an accurate record is included in the accident report. Be sure to communicate any pertinent details or observations you have regarding the circumstances leading up to the collision.

Notify your insurance carrier or agent about the accident as soon as possible. This allows them to initiate the claims process and begin assessing the damage to your vehicle. Timely notification also demonstrates your cooperation and commitment to resolving the matter efficiently.

Even if you don’t perceive any immediate injuries, it’s advisable to schedule a medical evaluation soon after the accident. Some injuries, particularly soft tissue injuries and concussions, may not be immediately apparent after a car accident. By seeking medical attention promptly, you not only safeguard your health but create a documented record of your condition following the accident. This can be invaluable in substantiating any injury claims you may pursue later on. Insurance companies often scrutinize claims involving delayed medical treatment, so seeking prompt medical care strengthens your position and credibility in any ensuing legal proceedings.

If you are injured as a result of the car accident — especially if you are seriously injured– one of the most important steps you can take is to seek the guidance of a qualified and experienced multi-car accident attorney. Your lawyer can provide invaluable support and advocacy, working to prove liability and pursue compensation for your injuries.

Contact an Attorney to Determine Liability for the Car Accident

It can be quite complicated to determine fault in a multi-car crash if no one admits liability, so you will most likely need your insurance company and an experienced car accident lawyer to do some investigating.

Typically, your insurance company will assign an accident investigator to your claim, and he or she will investigate the chain of events. However, if you have been injured in a serious accident, you should have your own lawyer doing a separate investigation on your behalf. He or she will speak to law enforcement, hire to a car crash expert to recreate the accident if necessary, and gather details about the chain of events, what the weather was like, the location and severity of damage on the cars, the position of the cars after the accident, the condition of the drivers involved, and any other detail that will help explain the accident.

In general, the amount of blame will be decided by the police officer who writes the report or the insurance adjusters. More often than not, the first car to start the chain reaction in a multi-car pile-up will be held liable. However, sometimes, more than one driver can be at fault, for example: one driver may be 60% at fault and another driver may shoulder 40% of the blame. This is why it is critical that you are protected. Your lawyer should be involved in the investigation from the beginning, to determine if small details—like a car speeding or driving too close to the car in front– point to one driver or another as the culprit.

How a Seasoned Multi-Car Accident Attorney Can Help

Because of the complications involved in a multi-car accident it critical to work with an experienced car accident attorney. In addition to representing your interests and ensuring fair treatment, a seasoned multi-car accident attorney can provide a multitude of invaluable services following a multi-car accident. As explained above, they can thoroughly investigate the accident scene, gathering evidence such as witness testimonies, police reports, and any available surveillance footage to establish liability. Next, they will communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf, protecting you from tactics aimed at minimizing your compensation. In addition, they will guide you through the legal complexities of filing a personal injury lawsuit, ensuring all deadlines are met and paperwork is properly filed. They will also negotiate skillfully to secure the maximum settlement possible, taking into account factors such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and any long-term rehabilitation or care needs. Finally, if a settlement is not possible, they will advocate for your rights in court, leveraging their experience to present a compelling case and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Speak to an Experienced Multi-Car Accident Attorney for FREE

Overall, entrusting your case to an experienced attorney like those at The Collins Law Firm can provide peace of mind during a challenging time, knowing that your legal matters are in capable hands and that you are taking the necessary steps to secure your future well-being. If you have been injured in a multi-car crash, call The Collins Law Firm at (630) 527-1595 to speak to an experienced car accident attorney about your claim for FREE.






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