Traffic accidents are bad enough without having multiple cars or vehicles involved. These accidents make assessing fault and documenting exactly what happened very difficult. In some cases, like a chain reaction rear end, finding fault can be less of a hassle. Other instances are much more complicated.
In a typical multi-vehicle accident there are common “players” involved:
The front car: this driver is usually the one blamed for causing the accident to happen. Usually this car was blamed for driving erratically, cutting other drivers off, and failing to use proper signals.
The back car: This car is blamed in rear end collisions and high traffic situations. Usually lack of care by this driver is alleged causing a chain reaction by hitting a vehicle from behind.
The turning vehicle: This vehicle was trying to turn before a red light or right after a light turns green on a two-way road. Usually they turn too quickly or not quickly enough.
The “red light” runner: this car is aggressively trying to make a light and may be blamed for running the light causing a turning vehicle to run into it.
The “phantom car”: by the time the police arrive on the scene, this car is nowhere to be found. Some drivers in the multi-vehicle accident claim to have seen it and others did not. This car is alleged to have been the cause of the accident. The hunt for this vehicle will be as successful as O.J.’s hunt for the real killer.
Multi-vehicle accidents will have to prove negligence just as in two car accidents. Even in a rear end collision situation, the rear driver may be able to show evidence and testimony to prove that they were not at fault for the accident. At the scene of an accident, an initial finding of fault may be given by the officer. All drivers should comply with the officer in order to document the accident as accurately as possible. Next, if medical care is needed, any injured parties should go to the emergency room to document any injuries sustained. Finally, each party should obtain an attorney. An attorney will be helpful in defending the driver as the other drivers may try to obtain compensation.
Multi vehicle accidents can get complicated because there may be several plaintiffs and defendants in the same case. In Illinois, there is a concept of comparative negligence for these exact instances where several people may be involved in the injury of another. Using comparative negligence, at trial a judge or jury will apportion fault among the defendants and compensation for the plaintiff can be apportioned among the defendants.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Your case may be different. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you were injured in an accident involving a multi-car accident, please call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529.