What Should I Do if I Am Injured in a Multi-Vehicle Pileup?
Multi-vehicle pileups or accidents involving multiple vehicles due to a “chain reaction” are not uncommon, particularly on high-volume and high-speed highways and roadways. When an initial collision occurs on these roads, a multi-vehicle pileup can quickly develop. This type of accident can cause you serious injuries, property damages, and no idea where to start in getting compensation for your losses. In a multi-vehicle accident, determining liability can be difficult. A car accident lawyer at Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A. can help in this situation.
Why Multi-Vehicle Pileups Occur
The initial accident that leads to a multi-vehicle pileup may occur for various reasons. However, the ensuing second, third, fourth, and fifth collisions typically happen for one or a combination of the following reasons:
- The drivers are traveling too fast for conditions;
- The drivers are following other vehicles too closely; and/or
- The drivers are distracted or not paying attention, which causes them to be unable to stop in time to avoid hitting the vehicles in front of them.
These types of accidents can be particularly traumatic because there is a good chance that your vehicle will sustain not just one but two or more collisions from different directions. While your injuries or damages to your vehicle might not be too severe after one crash, additional crashes increase the probability of you suffering catastrophic injuries and the total loss of your vehicles. If you find yourself in this difficult situation, it is extremely important that you talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can file the appropriate legal claims so you can get compensation for your losses.
Determining Causation in a Multi-Vehicle Pileup
To hold another driver responsible for your injuries and property damages, you must prove causation or that there is an unbroken link between their actions and your injuries. For example, a multi-vehicle pileup typically involves multiple drivers who have failed to exercise reasonable care in maintaining their speed and watching out for the vehicles traveling in front of them.
The fact that multiple other drivers have failed to exercise reasonable care, as well, does not excuse any of the drivers’ negligence. Therefore, all the drivers who were negligent in contributing to the accident may be liable.
You also must determine if the other driver’s actions substantially caused your injuries. In other words, would you have been injured “but for” the negligent or reckless actions of the other driver? If you would not be injured but for their actions, then that driver’s actions substantially contributed to your injuries.
Comparative Negligence: Assessing Liability Among Multiple Liable Parties
When multiple parties were negligent in causing an accident, Arizona law dictates to what extent each party is liable for your injuries. Arizona applies the legal principle of comparative negligence to situations where more than one party is liable for an accident.
Essentially, each negligent party is only liable for the amount of damages proportional to their degree of fault. For example, suppose that two other drivers were at fault in causing the accident that caused your injuries. One of the drivers was 75% at fault and the second driver was 25% at fault. In this scenario, the first driver would be responsible for 75% of your damages and the second driver responsible for 25% of your damages.
Call Us for the Legal Assistance You Deserve After a Catastrophic Accident
If another person or persons has caused you to suffer injury in a multi-vehicle pileup, you may have a claim for compensation. A car accident attorney at Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A. can represent your interests to achieve the maximum available compensation for your claim. Call our offices today at 602-530-8400 or reach out to us online and set up a time to talk to us about your case.