If you are injured in an auto accident involving more than one vehicle, there is a chance of serious injury. If you are injured in this type of accident, you may find yourself with the burden of high medical bills and lost wages.
Filing a personal injury claim is one option available to you to help you get the money you deserve for your injuries. The tricky aspect of this scenario is determining who is responsible for an accident involving multiple people.
Different Multi-Person Accident Scenarios
Chain reaction car accidents are common, and dangerous. Chain reactions can range from a line of vehicles rear-ending each other at an intersection due to the last driver in the line of cars not paying attention, to a multi-car pile up on a busy highway.
In cases such as these, an investigation is usually performed at the scene of the accident to determine who was at fault in the accident. Multiple people can share responsibility for a chain reaction accident, and often do. The accident investigators, usually from an insurance company, will look into if the police reprimanded any of the drivers involved for the following factors:
- Following to closely
- Failure to yield
- Driving recklessly
- Having no insurance or driver’s license
- Open containers of alcohol or drugs
According to Mercury News, in October of 2015, a man was driving on Route 85 in California when he rear-ended the vehicle in front of him, which in turn caused the next two vehicles in front of those cars to also collide. The four-car crash ultimately resulted in over $35,000 in personal injury damages for the drivers involved.
Besides chain reaction accidents, you could have been hit by a driver who was distracted by another passenger in their vehicle. In this case, the accident technically wasn’t the other driver’s fault, but someone who wasn’t even driving is to blame. This is also the case in accidents in which a driver swerves into another car, causing the second car to swerve and hit you, causing an accident. Although the first driver caused the accident, they are technically not involved.
Determining Fault and Filing a Claim
In most states, the comparative negligence rule comes into play. This means that your compensation will be directly related to the percentage of responsibility you share for the multi-car accident. Few states follow the contributory negligence rule, in which any percentage of responsibility means you are not entitled to any compensation.
For both of these scenarios, your best bet is to file a personal injury claim with the insurance companies of all of the drivers you think share responsibility for the accident. The insurance companies may investigate the accident to try and find evidence that disqualifies their clients.
In a no-fault state, however, you would just have to file a claim with your own insurance company, as with any other accident.
Hiring an Attorney
Because multi-person accidents are often complicated, they usually end up in some form of court. Hire an attorney to ensure that you gather the correct evidence for a successful claim. An attorney will make sure that the entire claims process goes smoothly and that you maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries.