Most car accidents involve a collision between two vehicles. Usually, one of the drivers is at fault, while the other driver is the victim. Sometimes, more than two vehicles are involved. For example, you could be hit by a vehicle that had to swerve because of another vehicle altogether.
Occasionally, many vehicles collide in a multi-vehicle pile-up. A multiple driver accident can make it more difficult to determine who was at fault, but the basis behind a personal injury claim still makes it possible to obtain compensation from those drivers whose negligence contributed to the accident.
Damages Due to a Multiple Driver Accident
In any car accident, there are separate components to a claim for compensation made through a personal injury claim. Firstly, damages may be sought for any harm done to the people occupying the vehicle that was hit. This includes medical costs and lost earnings.
Any damage done to the car makes up the second component of a claim. There may be damages sought for “pain and suffering” and less often, punitive damages when the degree of negligence is severe.
What You Could do at the Site of the Accident
A multiple driver accident can be a confusing and stressful experience. If you are not too badly hurt, there are actions that could be taken at the crash scene which will help any action taken further down the track.
- The first priority is to ensure that everyone involved is safe and that an ambulance is called if anyone has been seriously injured.
- Secondly, the police must be contacted and descriptions given about the nature of the accident and whereabouts.
- Thirdly, information regarding names of drivers, contact details and insurance providers should be shared with other drivers involved in the crash.
- Fourthly, any evidence which may support a future claim should be collected. This may include:
- witness statements and contact details;
- photographic evidence;
- and a record of where a police report can be obtained.
What Should Be Done After Leaving the Accident
After you leave the accident, you will still need to continue to gather information on the accident.
- Injuries should be attended to after any type of accident. Even if you are only slightly injured you should see a doctor. Some injuries like whiplash do not show up to later.
- If you do decide to make a claim you will need a doctor’s report to confirm the nature of the injuries.
- You should contact your own insurer after the accident. In no-fault states, you may be required to obtain compensation from your own insurer if your injuries are not severe.
- You should carefully collect any evidence you can which helps to prove who was responsible for the accident. Keep doctors records and paperwork from the auto body shop if your car was repaired.
- As it is a multiple vehicle accident, you may end up having to make claims against more than one other driver. Even if you were partially at fault, many states allow a percentage of compensation to be claimed.
Why You Should Contact a Lawyer
A multiple driver accident claim can be difficult to resolve. You should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you are able to do so following recovery from any injuries.
The lawyer can help you find out who was at fault and prepare a claim that recovers damages proportional to the severity of the accident and the harm it has done to you and any other occupants of the car. Use the Free Case Evaluation Form available on this page to be connected with a lawyer who can help.