How Is Fault Determined in a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident?

Determining liability in a multi-vehicle car accident usually comes down to finding which driver first acted negligently. It is more complex than deciding who was responsible for an accident involving two motor vehicles. In a multi-vehicle car accident, the reckless driver’s action can affect multiple cars around them. You can learn more about car accident law here.

Multi-vehicle car accidents can occur for various reasons; poor road conditions can lead to accidents, inclement weather can affect the driver’s visibility, or a distracted driver can lose control of their car, creating a pileup. Determining fault can be complicated, as you will need ample evidence to prove liability. Here is what you should know about how fault is determined in multi-vehicle car accidents. 

Multi-Vehicle Car Accident

Assigning Liability in a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident

Although it is challenging to state with complete certainty what events led to a multiple-vehicle car accident, accident reconstruction specialists may be able to determine what occurred in the moments before, during, and after the crash. Additional factors that might influence whether a driver bears more or less liability for the collision include the following:

  • If any of the drivers were speeding when the accident occurred
  • If any of the drivers were distracted 
  • If there were any traffic safety violations, including erratic lane changes or tailgating
  • If there were severe weather or unsafe road conditions that cause abrupt evasive maneuvers
  • If there was signage on the road showing that drivers should have prepared to stop or reduce speed

If you are unsure how an insurance adjuster will determine liability in your multi-vehicle car accident, consulting a car accident lawyer to help you assign fault is vital. Such accidents can cause severe injuries and damage, so you need financial compensation to recover all the losses you endured. 

It may seem evident who is at fault for starting a domino effect, but that is not always the case. The driver who failed to practice their duty of care to keep other drivers safe, resulting in a multi-vehicle or chain reaction accident, will likely bear responsibility. Every multi-vehicle car accident is unique, so investigators will likely need an extensive breakdown of what happened to determine a fair decision for all the parties involved. 

Onlookers and other drivers might think that the driver who initiated the multi-vehicle car accident is guilty of the entirety of the aftermath, but this may not be accurate. Especially in a chain reaction accident, drivers involved in the collision could point fingers at the individuals they blame for starting the crash and refrain from admitting any fault. Generally, it’s rarely easy to assign fault in a massive chain reaction without a personal injury lawyer. 

How is Compensation Determined If Multiple Cars Are Involved in a Crash?

Arizona uses the pure comparative negligence system to determine financial compensation in a multi-vehicle car accident. All drivers involved in such a crash may seek compensation for their injuries and damages.

Even if you are 99 percent at fault for the chain reaction, you can still file a claim. However, please consider that the value of your claim will diminish according to the percentage of fault you share for the accident. So, if you were 99 percent responsible for the multiple-vehicle car accident, you can still collect 1 percent of the settlement amount. 

How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help You?

If you are injured in a multi-vehicle crash, determining compensation and who is at fault for the accident can be difficult. The more parties involved in a multi-car accident, the harder it could be to determine who was at fault.

That is why you may be blamed for the accident or have to deal with multiple drivers who won’t accept liability. At this stage, contacting a skilled and compassionate car accident lawyer to represent you and fight for your rights is essential. 

Protecting your rights is vital, and a personal injury lawyer knows how to do so, given the circumstances of your multi-vehicle car accident. The lawyer will gather the evidence you need to illustrate why you deserve financial compensation.

For some, photos from the accident scene are enough to prove who is at fault. In other situations, witness statements are necessary. However, a combination of different forms of evidence and documentation will go further to strengthen your claim. 

Once your attorney discovers each party’s liability in your multi-vehicle car accident, they will start working on building your financial compensation claim against the at-fault parties. In addition to building a solid case, the personal injury lawyer will negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. You do not have to navigate intimidating and complicated negotiations on your own.