Helping Car Accident Victims in Massachusetts and New Hampshire
Multi-car pile-ups create special challenges for everyone. Traffic can be slowed or stopped for hours. Emergency personnel have to prioritize and evaluate multiple people, often without being able to maneuver ambulances and equipment through the mass of stopped traffic. Drivers may be trapped for long periods while emergency workers do their job and the road is cleared.
For those who are injured in a multi-car accident, there’s one more important complication: determining who is legally responsible for your injuries.
Multi-Vehicle Crashes Come in All Shapes and Sizes
When you think of a multi-vehicle pile-up, you probably think of one of those dramatic freeway accidents involving dozens or hundreds of cars. While that type of multi-car accident is especially challenging, accidents involving multiple vehicles happen all the time, on Interstates, highways, and side roads alike.
While the complexities are greater when there are 50 or 100 cars, trucks and other vehicles involved, the basic issues are the same.
Determining Liability in a Multi-Car Accident
Liability–or the extent of liability–is often disputed in car accident cases. Sometimes, both drivers contribute to the accident in some way, and responsibility is shared. That requires assigning a percentage of responsibility to each party to determine who will have to compensate whom and to what extent. Sometimes, determining who was responsible and to what degree requires the use of experts, such as accident reconstructionists. That process becomes all the more complicated when multiple vehicles are involved.
Consider this example of a small multi-vehicle accident:
Driver A proceeds through a yellow light and enters the intersection as the light turns red. Drive A hits Driver B, who is passing through the intersection on a main roadway that doesn’t have a traffic signal. Driver C, who was closely following Driver B, plows into Drive B’s car, but does not make contact with Driver A’s car. All three drivers are injured.
Driver A’s decision to travel through the yellow light likely contributed to the accident. But, was it the sole cause? Perhaps Driver B contributed by speeding or being distracted by his phone as he entered the intersection. Are Driver C’s injuries attributable to Driver A negligently entering the intersection even though their two vehicles never made contact? Is Driver C at least partially responsible for his own injuries because he was following Driver B too closely?
The answers to all of these questions fall somewhere on the maybe-to-probably spectrum, depending on the specifics of the accident. And, thorough investigation is required, because leaving a responsible party out of a lawsuit could significantly reduce compensation, or even end in no compensation at all.
Now, imagine that there were 15, or 25, or 40 cars involved. As the number of drivers involved in the accident and the number of possible contributing factors and possible evasive actions increases, the analysis becomes even more complicated.
Get Help after a Multi-Vehicle Pile-Up
If you’ve been injured in a multi-vehicle accident, it is especially important to contact an experienced car accident lawyer right away. With numerous parties involved, the investigation is likely to be more involved than in a typical two-car accident case. Memories and stories may already be confused, due to the chaotic nature of a multi-car pile-up, and clarity will only diminish over time. So, the sooner your attorney can start gathering information and evidence, the better.
Attorney Kevin P. Broderick puts his 25+ years of legal and litigation experience to work for victims of car accidents and other injuries every day. If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help. Just call 978-459-3085 right now, or fill out the contact form on this site.
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