If you have been hurt in a car accident, you may be considering a personal injury claim to obtain financial compensation. But when a car accident involves more than two vehicles, known as a “multi-vehicle accident,” the situation may be more complex. Before pursuing the party responsible for your injuries, you first have to determine, “Who is at fault for my multi-vehicle accident?”
Because three or more vehicles are involved, it can be difficult to decide who is at fault for a multi-vehicle accident. In fact, more than one driver could be responsible under certain circumstances.
Multi-vehicle accidents typically occur when the force of one car accident causes other vehicles to crash into each other. This often happens when vehicles are traveling too closely together on narrow roads or when approaching traffic stops.
The vehicle that causes the first crash is usually at fault for the multi-vehicle accident, as in the following scenario:
V1 => V2 => V3
V2 and V3 are at a complete stop. V1 approaches V2 but cannot brake in time. V1 then collides with V2, causing the first crash, the force of which in turn causes V2 to crash into V3.
But in other situations, more than one party may share fault, as in this case:
V4 => V3 => V1 => V2
V2 is at a complete stop. V1 is approaching V2 but cannot brake in time, and it collides with the rear of V2. V3 then approaches the scene of the crash and also cannot stop in time, so it crashes into V1. Then V4 soon follows and collides with V3.
So while V1 may be primarily at fault for V2’s damage, V3 and V4 may also be responsible for any damage caused by their collisions. Determining the respective degrees of fault can impact the value of each car accident injury claim. The degrees of fault may depend upon a number of factors, including:
- Following too closely.
- Failure to use brake lights or signals.
- Distracted driving.
- Drunk driving.
- Medical events.
- Failure to maintain or install proper traffic signs.
- Neglecting to remove obstacles from the road.
- Poor weather conditions.
What Do I Do Once I Know Who Is at Fault for My Multi-Vehicle Accident?
To determine what caused a multi-vehicle accident and who was at fault, it may be necessary to gather additional data, including:
- Police reports.
- Traffic citations.
- Eyewitness accounts.
- Physical evidence, such as vehicle damage, debris, and skid marks.
As you can see, answering an apparently simple question – “Who is at fault for my multi-vehicle accident?” – can be a very complex task, one that is essential to establishing a viable personal injury claim. Given how complicated this process can be, a multi-vehicle accident victim might benefit from an experienced attorney who can help establish liability and maximize the value of a claim, like the Illinois car accident attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers.
GWC is one of the premier Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois. With more than $2 billion recovered for our clients over more than forty years in practice, we have a proven record of success with nearly every type of car accident.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact GWC today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys. Call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.