Motor vehicle accidents can create immense destruction and lead to critical injuries for those involved. The risks can be even greater when multiple parties are involved in the crash.
Multiple-vehicle crashes often create chain-reaction crashes when three or more vehicles hit each other in a series. The initial cause behind these types of accidents is generally the force exerted by the first collision. Sometimes news reporters and others will refer to these types of accidents as pile-ups.
Multi-car accidents are most likely to occur when traffic is heavy on a highway or interstate. This is because people are often operating their vehicles at a high rate of speed. Ignoring traffic rules, failing to abide by car seat laws, and other mistakes behind the wheel can increase the likelihood of fatal loss in a crash.
In case of an injury or accident, visit the website to contact an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer for legal help.
Common Causes of Multi-Car Pile-Ups
Extreme weather conditions and human errors are two of the leading causes of multiple-vehicle accidents. Here are some of the most common factors that may precede these types of road accidents:
- Tailgating: Tailgating is when one driver follows another vehicle too closely, without leaving sufficient space in between the two vehicles. If the vehicle in front stops suddenly, there may not be enough space or time for the vehicle behind it to stop, causing a rear-end collision. This is why it is so important to maintain a safe following distance while driving. Whether the road ahead is empty or traffic is unusually heavy, drivers should maintain a safe distance to reduce the risk of an accident involving tailgating.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is another major factor that can increase the risk of chain-reaction collisions. Texting, talking on the phone, eating, or fidgeting with one’s radio or GPS are common distractions that can lead to a multiple-vehicle crash.
- Speeding: Driving at higher speeds may put motorists at a higher risk of getting into an accident. A driver who exceeds the posted speed limit may have less time to maintain control over their vehicle and stop safely in the event of an emergency. In many cases, speed plays a significant factor in multi-vehicle accidents and chain reactions.
- Driving under the influence (DUI): Alcohol and drugs may disrupt an individual’s brain, decreasing their ability to process information and compromising their reflexes. This compromised state can easily lead to a crash. Drivers who operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol are often the root cause of car accidents, including those involving multiple vehicles.If you are found to have caused drunk driving accidents, you may face criminal charges and be required to pay hefty fines. You may even lose your driver’s license. This is why drivers must ensure that they do not drink or take drugs if they intend to get behind the wheel.
- Failing to use a turn signal: Turn signals allow other drivers to predict the moves that you will make and allow them to make choices about their movements accordingly.It is important to communicate your intentions to others driving on the road by using your turn signal. Failure to signal can result in a devastating situation. If other drivers are unaware of your intention to turn or change lanes, it can increase the risk of a multiple-car accident.
- Inclement weather conditions: Extreme weather conditions, such as snow, torrential rain, and fog, can potentially reduce a driver’s visibility on the road. This is why it is recommended that motorists, especially those who are inexperienced drivers, should avoid going onto the road under such conditions unless it is necessary. All drivers should check the weather conditions before embarking on their journeys.
Establishing Who Is Responsible for a Multi-Vehicle Crash
When there are multiple drivers involved in a motor vehicle crash, it can be challenging to identify which party or parties were at fault. However, if you want to file a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance claim for the damages you suffered, you may have to prove that someone else was negligent. It is crucial to determine the party or parties who were responsible for the wreck.
Because one of the critical rules for driving is maintaining a safe following distance, the driver who failed to keep a safe distance between themselves and the vehicle ahead of them may be held responsible.
To establish their fault, there needs to be evidence that proves what occurred. In some cases, multiple parties can be held liable for causing the accident.
Here are a few sources of evidence that can help you and your legal representative determine which party or parties may be responsible for the accident and the resulting injuries:
- Eyewitness statements: The first step you should take is identifying whether there were any eyewitnesses to the accident and gathering information from them about what they saw. For example, you can ask your passengers or drivers and passengers who were at the scene but not involved in the accident. You can also look to see whether any pedestrians saw what happened. Gather as many witnesses as you can to strengthen your case and your claim.
- Physical evidence available at the scene: The skid marks, debris, and other evidence present at the scene of the accident may help determine the identity of the negligent party.
- Police reports: Because multi-vehicle collisions have the potential to lead to critical injuries, you should consider reporting the crash to the proper law enforcement agency so they can file an official report on your behalf. The police can investigate what happened, which may help determine who was at fault. Be sure to request a copy of the official police report for your records.
What to Do Following a Multi-Car Crash
Accidents that involve multiple vehicles can have serious consequences, and you should not take them lightly. Even if you have experienced minor injuries, you have the right to take legal action and hold the negligent party responsible for your damages. In some cases, you may need to pursue claims against multiple parties who share fault for causing the accident.
It can be difficult to navigate the aftermath of an accident alone, especially when the legal aspects become complex. You can get in touch with an auto accident lawyer to learn about the legal options available to you for seeking the compensation you deserve for the injuries you incurred.