It can be easy to identify who owes who when accidents involve just two drivers. What happens if there is a multi-vehicle collision?
It can be challenging to pinpoint who is at fault when multiple vehicles collide in these accidents. When multiple parties are involved, it can be challenging to determine who is at fault. This often leads to a complicated web of insurance companies trying to escape liability.
To determine fault and receive fair compensation, you will most likely need the assistance of a Texas car accident lawyer. We’ll discuss the laws and obstacles that may arise after a multi-vehicle collision.
Texas Car Accident Laws
Texas is considered an at-fault country. This means that if someone causes an accident that results in injuries or property damage, they (or their insurer) are responsible for paying you.
Multi-car collisions allow more than one driver the chance to share the blame. Texas has a modified comparative fault rule. The modified comparative fault rule reduces the plaintiff’s damages award by a percentage equaling their share of fault.
Let’s take, for example, a $10,000 claim for injuries. A jury determines that you are 40% at fault for hitting your brakes too hard and leaving no time for other people to react. You would receive only $6,000 for your injuries in that case.
Important note: Texas is a state with modified comparative fault, meaning that if Texas finds you to be at fault for the crash, you won’t receive any compensation.
How do you prove fault in a multi-vehicle accident?
It is often a matter of determining who was negligent (or “negligent”) in a traffic accident. The following are common acts of negligence:
- Speeding or driving recklessly
- Texting while driving
- Do not follow too closely
- making unsafe lane changes
- Driving while under the influence;
- Falling asleep behind the wheel
Most cases are straightforward in determining who was at fault and what caused it. But, it is more difficult to determine liability when multiple vehicles are involved.
You will need to identify the events that led to an accident involving multiple vehicles. If more than one driver was responsible, you could determine the driver’s part of the liability.
Let’s take a look at the following example:
Driver C > driver B > driver A
Let’s suppose Driver C is asleep at the wheel and rear-ends Driver B. Driver B would then be pushed into Driver A. In such a scenario, Driver C would be deemed liable, and their insurance company would have to compensate Driver A and Driver B.
It is usually the driver driving the third vehicle that is at fault. You would then file a claim against the car insurance company. There are also other situations where drivers could be held responsible.
Let’s look again at the chain reaction collision example:
Driver C > driver B > driver A
Let’s suppose Driver B followed too closely and rear-ended Driver C. Driver B suddenly stopped and did not give Driver C enough time to react. This caused Driver C and Driver A to collide. Driver B could be held responsible in this instance.
If multiple drivers are involved in an accident, other drivers’ insurance companies will likely claim that they don’t owe as much to you as you ask. Or worse, attempt to impose blame on you. An experienced Texas car accident lawyer is the best option in these situations. An attorney can help you get the compensation you are entitled to by getting to the bottom of the matter.
What to do after a multi-car accident
It can be challenging to determine the cause of a chain reaction collision. This is especially true when dealing with adrenaline and confusion after an accident. You can take steps to establish the sequence of events and who was negligent. These are:
- Collect eyewitness accounts and contact information. This information can be shared with passers-by and the drivers behind you.
- Photograph and video the scene. Please take pictures of all cars involved, their damage, and any debris.
- Get police reports related to the accident. This crucial evidence will help you determine who committed a traffic violation.
You don’t want your case to be won by one party when multiple people try to prove their fault. An experienced Texas car accident lawyer has the resources to help determine the cause of the accident and assign the blame accordingly. An experienced accident attorney will be able to bring in an expert to help reconstruct the accident. They can also ensure that the police do not miss any details.
Are you involved in a multi-vehicle collision? The Texas Car Accident Lawyers at Tim O’Hare can help.
After a multi-car collision, it may not be logical to file your own lawsuit or insurance claim. This is especially true if so many contributing factors and other parties want to avoid liability. Talking to an experienced Texas car accident lawyer is the best way to ensure your right to fair compensation.
Our attorneys will help you collect evidence to prove fault, and we’ll negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you get compensation for your losses. To learn more about your legal rights, contact us today.