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About Multi-Vehicle Car Accidents

Posted on: August 10, 2018

Liability Challenges with Multiple Vehicle Crashes

When one motorist sustains an impact, many other vehicles on the road may be swept up into the crash. Drivers face many threats from different locations, which make it difficult to avoid a collision. Passengers are affected, as well, because other vehicles can make contact from any direction. The scene of a multi-car crash is chaotic as drivers attempt to maneuver their vehicles out of harm’s way and make sense of what has happened. There are both primary and secondary factors that cause damage and injuries in a multiple vehicle accident:

  • Primary Impact: The initial collision is the primary impact, usually caused by the negligent or reckless actions of a driver who strikes another vehicle or a stationary object.
  • Secondary Impacts: Chain reactions are common when numerous motorists are trying to avoid colliding with other cars – or being hit by them. These secondary impacts often cause additional incidents amid the confusion and frenzy. Occasionally these secondary impacts are avoidable or due to intervening negligent actions of secondary persons.

When there are numerous vehicles, multiple drivers, and several people injured in a chain reaction crash, it can be extremely difficult to address liability factors. Multi-vehicle collisions frequently raise common questions such as:

  • Who hit you first?
  • Were you affected by a primary or secondary impact – or both?
  • How many collisions did you experience?
  • Which collision caused your injury?
  • Was more than one driver potentially at fault in causing the initial and successive collisions?
  • Can you recover compensation for the losses you experienced due to your injuries from one or both (or several) negligent persons?
  • What kind of damages can you recover?
  • Should you seek compensation from a driver directly or file a claim with an insurance company?
  • What happens if your claim is denied?

The answers to these questions will depend on the specifics of your case, but some basic information about the legal issues involved should be useful.

If you have suffered injuries from a multiple-vehicle car accident, you may be able to obtain compensation from one or more drivers whose carelessness led to the crash.

There are multiple types of damages you can recover in a Maryland car accident case, regardless of the number of vehicles involved. You may seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses, including costs of emergency and urgent care, surgery, rehabilitation, and long-term treatment;
  • Lost income, if you were unable to work because of your injuries and could not earn your regular wages;
  • Pain and suffering, which is a type of damages that does not boil down to a concrete number. Medical records and expert testimony are often used as proof of how much pain and suffering you experienced.

Whether you were a victim of a primary or secondary impact, or both, there are multiple responsible drivers you may want to pursue for your losses. It is possible to recover from the motorist that caused the initial impact, and you may be able to seek compensation from another driver who was negligent in causing a chain reaction crash.

Filing Claims with Insurance Companies After a Chain Reaction Crash

There are numerous hurdles when you file a claim with an insurer no matter how many cars were involved with a collision; however, when there are multiple vehicles involved, these challenges are often compounded. For example,

  • One or more insurance companies may attempt to push blame on you;
  • An insurer may take the position that its own policyholder was not responsible, and deny your claim;
  • An insurer may attempt to place the entirety of fault on one of the other vehicles involved in the chain reaction collision, thereby denying liability.
  • Where each involved insurer blames an adverse driver for causing the collision, a blameless victim may end up with no one taking accountability for their injuries and damages;
  • Even where fault is clear and at least one driver is clearly at fault or willing to accept liability, his or her insurance company may not be willing to pay enough to cover all of the injuries and losses sustained; or the available coverage may not be sufficient to pay full and fair compensation to all victims.

In such situations, it may become necessary to file a lawsuit against all potential negligent parties, in order to have a judge or jury decide which party should be held accountable as well as to determine the appropriate amount of fair compensation.

If you have been injured in a chain reaction collision and want to know more about your options, please contact the Baltimore office of Bob Katz Law. We can schedule a consultation to discuss the details of your case.