Most car accidents usually involve a vehicle or two. However, some include three or more cars (multi-vehicle accidents). This type of crash is called “pile-ups,” and they typically occur when drivers lose control in heavy traffic. They’re also common when bad weather reduces visibility or stopping distance. Multi-vehicle accidents are different from typical collisions because two or more parties might share the blame for the crashes.
Although it might be challenging to get compensation after an accident involving two cars, it is not impossible. First, the victim and their car accident lawyer must prove the other driver’s negligence. You’ll also need to show that the crash caused your injuries and pain and suffering.
However, in multi-vehicle accidents, each party’s level of liability is evaluated. In this article, our Atlanta auto accident lawyers will walk you through the process of calculating compensation in a multi-car crash.
What To Do After Multi-Vehicle Accidents
After a multiple-vehicle collision, you should take the same actions you would after any other type of accident. That means:
- Call 991 – most people make the mistake of assuming someone else did.
- Get medical attention for your injuries – they might not be obvious, but you should seek medical attention either way.
- Get the contact information of other drivers – ensure you speak to everyone involved in the crash and take photos of essential contact documents.
- Report the accident to your insurance company – your insurance carrier needs notification of all crashes immediately after it takes place.
- Call a car accident lawyer to defend your rights – the other drivers might already have lawyers and might be trying to pin the blame on you; your lawyer will prevent this from happening.
Determining Compensation in a Multi-Vehicle Crash
Calculating compensation depends on your level of liability in a multi-vehicle accident. Your compensation settlement also depends on the severity of your injuries. The driver who failed to uphold the duty of care to keep other drivers safe will bear responsibility for the accident.
There are times when it is obvious who is at fault but not always. Every accident is unique, and investigators will always perform an extensive breakdown of events to reach a fair decision.
Drivers generally don’t admit fault; instead, they point fingers at the person they believe started the events that led to the accident. Witnesses might also think the driver who started the chain reaction should bear responsibility for the entire accident. However, it isn’t usually so simple to determine fault in a multi-car accident.
Sometimes, it is a case of comparative negligence where multiple drivers share fault in the accident. If you share a part of the liability, you can still pursue a claim under the comparative negligence doctrine. However, the court will reduce your compensation settlement according to the percentage of your fault. So, if your fault is 30%, you get 70% of the amount awarded as a settlement.
The Importance of Witnesses
The witnesses who were not involved in the crash are usually crucial at such times. They are impartial observers and base their accounts on what they saw. On the other hand, drivers have a vested interest in refuting blame.
If several witnesses corroborate each other’s story, this solidifies the case of who will pay the compensation. If there are bystanders during the accident, it is best to get their contact information after the accident.
Law Enforcement Involvement
You must call the police, so officers can come to the accident scene and file a crash report. This report usually contains vital details used in assigning liability later and calculating compensation. The responding officer will pay attention to the facts of the accident.
They usually take pictures and review available video surveillance to determine the events that led to the crash. Most times, the police report is the evidence you need to prove fault in a multi-vehicle accident.
Experienced Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You Calculate Compensation
A significant obstacle for most victims of multi-vehicle crashes is determining compensation and who’s at fault in the accident. The more parties involved in the auto accident, the harder it can be to determine who was at fault.
That’s why most victims find themselves being blamed for the crash or dealing with drivers who won’t accept liability. In such cases, you should call a skilled car accident lawyer to represent you and protect your rights.
Our Atlanta auto accident lawyers will collect evidence and analyze the information to determine what happened. When we know each party’s responsibility level in the Atlanta multi-vehicle crash, we can then start working on building your compensation claim against the at-fault parties. Call The Weinstein Firm today for a free consultation.