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Proving Liability in Multi-Car Accident Claims in Virginia

Determining liability is a critical aspect of every vehicle collision. Whoever is held liable is the one who will be financially responsible for some or all of the damages incurred as a result of the injury. It’s tough enough determining liability in a two-car collision. When you add in multiple motor vehicles, the challenge is compounded.

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You need an astute lawyer who can do the necessary research to establish liability no matter how many parties were involved. That’s where a trusted car accident attorney in Roanoke VA comes in.

A multi-car collision involves multiple drivers and insurance companies, which makes the resulting cases very complex. And when liability is shared between multiple parties, insurance companies tend to play “pass the buck” when it comes to shifting blame away from their client.

Here’s an overview of multi-vehicle collision types, and what you need to know about liability and recovering compensation. The key is always to have car accident lawyers in Roanoke on your side.

Multi-Car Crashes: Common Types

Many collisions can lead to a multi-car crash, but there are some that are more common than others, such as:

Rear-End Accidents

This happens when one car hits the back of another vehicle. If the initial car was going fast enough, this action may even start a chain reaction that impacts several vehicles.

Head-On Accidents

This is when one vehicle collides with the front end of another vehicle. These types of accidents tend to block traffic in one or several lanes. When traffic is congested, it may be impossible for other drivers to react quickly enough to keep from hitting one of the affected vehicles. The result is often a multi-car pileup bringing about untold destruction, injuries, and even death.

T-Bone Accidents

These frequently happen at intersections, and involve one car hitting another in a perpendicular fashion. Intersections by themselves are pretty dangerous areas, so in the case of a T-bone collision, one car can push another out into the way of oncoming traffic.

Cargo Accidents

When truck drivers have failed to secure cargo and it spills onto the roadway after a collision or rollover, those spills can cause other cars to crash. Liquid spills cause other cars to hydroplane, while physical debris spilled onto a roadway can cause cars to have to swerve violently out of the way.

Determining the At-Fault Parties in Multiple Car Collisions

It’s important to be able to prove fault, or negligence, in a multi-car collision so the person responsible can pay damages to the others who did not cause the crash. Negligence has four components:

  • Duty
  • Breach of duty
  • Harm
  • Causation

Here’s how each component pertains to multi-vehicle collisions:

  • Each driver possesses a duty of care towards others on the road.
  • When a collision occurs, someone has breached their duty. This could be one or more parties.
  • The breach of duty must have brought harm to yourself or others in a collision.
  • The breach of duty must be the root cause of the collision.

Causation is the trickiest part of proving negligence in a multi-car collision. It’s entirely possible for more than one party to contribute to the cause of the collision, yet this doesn’t stop all parties involved from arguing that it wasn’t them that caused it. Many drivers lie to get out of this predicament.

Lawyers and insurance adjusters must then use experts such as accident reconstruction specialists to find out what really happened. Sometimes, the result is that multiple parties are found responsible for different portions of the collision.

Common Causes of Multi-Vehicle Collisions

The most frequent causes of multi-car collisions are attributed to:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Drowsy driving

Victims who have been hurt in multi-vehicle collisions may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, injuries, pain and suffering, and more. Getting a financial recovery for those injuries and losses can be challenging, sadly. This is because liability is often difficult to discern in multi-car collisions.

If you have been involved in a multi-car collision, it’s strongly recommended that you consult with an experienced car accident attorney in Southwest Virginia as soon as possible, so your lawyer can start collecting the necessary evidence to support your settlement.

Contact Altizer Law

Call our trusted Roanoke car accident law firm if you have been in a multi-car collision and want to know your rights. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation at 540-345-2000.