As the most populous state in the U.S., multi-vehicle accidents are very common in California. This can be especially true in large cities like San Diego. In a multi-vehicle accident, it can be difficult to determine liability from the standpoint of the insurance companies. When there are more than three cars involved in a car accident, the claims process will usually devolve into each party pointing the finger at the other. In many cases, multi-vehicle accident claims are not quickly settled by insurance companies. The likelihood of them going through litigation is very high. This will allow all sides to present their evidence and give the courts the opportunity to decide the cause of the accident and what parties were at fault and what percentage of damages they should be awarded. If you have been involved in a multi-vehicle accident, it is likely that the other drivers are working with a personal injury attorney. It is important that you do the same. Elsewise, you may find yourself at a disadvantage and not receive the compensation that you deserve. Give the personal injury attorneys at Injury Trial Lawyers a call today to schedule your free consultation.
Establishing Fault in a Multi-Vehicle Accident
Establishing fault in a multi-vehicle accident can be difficult. Many factors contribute to who caused the accident and how much of the blame each party deserves. Our attorneys will investigate the following factors when investigating fault in multi-vehicle accidents:
- The speed of each driver and their distance away from other drivers
- Environmental conditions (road and weather)
- Whether or not any of the drivers were distracted, intoxicated, reckless, etc.
- Any reasons that may have contributed to a driver making a sudden stop
If the evidence is strong enough, your case may not go to court and the insurance company is likely to settle. However, that scenario is the exception in multi-vehicle accidents. It is important that you collect as much evidence as you can at the scene of the accident. This can include pictures, eye-witness statements and contact information, and taking note of the conditions of the road and weather. After the accident has occurred, seek immediate medical attention and follow all of the physician orders. If you are able to, call us to schedule your free consultation as quickly as you can.
Determining Who Pays
California is a “comparative fault” state. This means that the judge or jury will award damages to drivers depending on what percentage of the accident was their fault. Every driver that shares any responsibility in the accident can be held legally responsible. Furthermore, those that are a “substantial factor” in causing the accident can be held appropriately liable. In multi-vehicle accidents, determining liability and who pays what percentage of damages can be especially tricky. This is even truer when there is inclement weather or other events occurring that are out of the control of the drivers. When liability is determined, those found to be at fault can be liable for injuries, lost income (current and future), medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc. It does not matter how insignificant a driver’s actions are (i.e. sneezing, dropping a cup of coffee, yawning, etc.) as long as it is determined that their actions were not trivial and contributed to the accident they will share some or all of the blame.
Working With a Personal Injury Attorney
As you can see, determining fault in multi-vehicle accidents can be a complex undertaking. If you have been involved in one, it is almost certain that most (if not all) of the other drivers are working with a personal injury attorney. It is important that you have an experienced attorney working on your behalf as well. If not, you may find yourself in a difficult situation that can seem impossible to navigate alone. Our attorneys at Injury Trial Lawyers are experienced, aggressive, and relentless in pursuing damages on your behalf. If you have been involved in a multi-vehicle accident, give us a call immediately to schedule your free consultation.