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Lake Charles Multi-Vehicle Car Accident Attorneys
According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety data, a whopping 47% of all car crashes in the United States involve multiple vehicles. Multiple-vehicle car accidents are sometimes known as “chain reaction accidents” or “pileups.” These types of accidents occur when two vehicles collide, then a third vehicle crashes into them, and sometimes more.
Single-vehicle accidents are complicated enough, but crashes involving three or more cars can be infinitely more complex. If you were injured in a multi-vehicle car accident, you could be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party or parties. When a multi-vehicle crash occurs, it’s not always easy to identify the at-fault parties and determine liability, but there are steps you can take to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
If you were injured in a multi-car accident, the experienced Lake Charles car accident attorneys of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC know just how to help. We offer a free consultation so we can discuss your case with you and help you figure out what to do next. We know how to find the parties responsible for the crash, how to build a case that demonstrates what you’re entitled to, and how to fight for justice and compensation for you. Call us today at 337-800-8800 to get started.
What is a Multi-Vehicle Accident?
A multi-vehicle accident is a car crash that involves three or more vehicles. These accidents can happen in many different settings but often happen where there is a high volume of traffic, such as on highways and within intersections. The injuries and damage caused by two vehicles colliding with one another greatly increase when multiple vehicles collide.
No two multi-vehicle accidents are the same. In some accidents, a driver is following another car too closely and does not have time to stop, rear-ending the car in front, which causes a “domino effect.” Sometimes drivers suddenly change lanes or perform other maneuvers too quickly for the drivers sharing the road to react appropriately.
Some of the main types of multi-vehicle accidents are:
- Rear-end collisions. A rear-end crash usually happens when a car abruptly stops or slows down and is struck from behind by another car. This can then lead to a chain reaction if other cars don’t have enough time to react to the collision. In this type of crash, the burst of force from behind may also push the car that stopped or slowed into the car in front of it.
- Highway pileups. Cars on the highway often move at speeds of 70 mph or more, which gives drivers very little time to react if a car suddenly veers into their lane or if they come upon a hazardous traffic situation. A crash can begin with just two cars but can quickly “pile up” into many more vehicles due to the increased speed and reduced reaction time.
- Intersection crashes. Intersection crashes can happen when multiple vehicles attempt to enter an intersection simultaneously, such as when one vehicle attempts to turn while another barrels straight through the intersection. It can also occur as a result of one or more vehicles ignoring traffic signals, such as when a driver tries to beat a red light.
- Multiple-impact crashes. When an accident only involves two vehicles, there may only be one impact, one point of collision. But when multiple vehicles are involved in a traffic accident, vehicles can be hit in more than one spot from various angles, which makes the likelihood that a multi-vehicle crash will be fatal even greater than in a two-car accident.
Many multi-vehicle car accidents are caused by driver negligence and are totally preventable. Here are some of the most common causes of multi-vehicle accidents:
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving occurs when a driver is focused on something other than driving. Examples of distracted driving include texting while driving, talking on the phone, talking to passengers, eating and drinking, adjusting the radio, holding pets, or reaching for an item. Distracted driving is the leading cause of automobile crashes in the United States and a common cause of multi-vehicle crashes/pileups.
- Low visibility. Multi-vehicle car crashes frequently occur in low-visibility settings. A driver may be following another car too closely in low light or bad weather conditions and may not realize it until it is too late.
- Speeding. Most people speed at some point, but speeding can make it even more difficult to avoid accidents. The faster a vehicle moves, the less time the driver has to react to a road hazard or an unexpected maneuver from another vehicle on the road. The faster a car moves, the more difficult it is for the driver to slow or come to a stop in order to avoid a crash.
- Drunk driving. Drunk driving can lead to serious traffic accidents. When a person drives while intoxicated, their ability to concentrate on the task of driving is significantly reduced, and their judgment is impaired. Alcohol slows down a driver’s reaction time and makes it harder for a driver to react to road hazards or the sudden actions of other vehicles on the road.
- Fatigue. Fatigue can result when a driver has not gotten enough sleep. Similar to drunk driving, fatigue can impair a driver’s ability to concentrate on driving and to notice approaching road hazards in enough time to avoid a crash.
- Tailgating. Tailgating other motorists is dangerous and reckless. The closer a driver is to another vehicle, the less time they have to react if the driver in front of them suddenly slows or stops their vehicle.
How Do You Prove Liability in a Multi-Vehicle Accident?
Multi-vehicle accidents can be incredibly complex and distressing. If a party is willing to admit fault, determining liability is made much easier. But if not, an attorney and other experts will need to independently investigate the accident and try to determine who initially caused it.
Police will write a report in which they may make an initial determination of the at-fault party or parties. They will assess all of the drivers involved, identify any drivers who were impaired by alcohol or fatigued or driving while distracted, and determine whether any drivers were breaking any applicable laws.
If you were in a multi-vehicle accident, you and your attorney will need to establish which driver or drivers were negligent in order to prove liability. Establishing negligence means determining which drivers failed in their “duty of care” to keep the drivers around them safe. Although the driver at the rear of the “chain” is often responsible, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, more than one person is partially responsible. Your attorney and other authorities may need to perform a comprehensive breakdown of the accident to reach a conclusion that is fair to everyone involved in the crash.
Potential Claims in a Multi-Vehicle Accident
In order to make a claim against another driver, you and your attorney have to be able to prove that whatever injuries or property damage you sustained was due to the negligence of another driver or drivers. Building a case against the at-fault party or parties is even more complex when multiple vehicles are involved in an accident. You will want to get the claims process started right away. Here are some of the possible claims a driver who has been involved in a multi-vehicle accident can pursue:
- Driver Negligence: If you and your attorney can prove that another driver’s negligence caused the accident, you can make a claim against the negligent driver. If your attorney’s investigation concludes that multiple drivers were negligent, then claims can be made against multiple drivers.
- Product Liability: There are instances in which collisions are caused not by a driver’s negligence but by a defective part. If the vehicle itself is at fault, then it is possible to lay a claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle or the manufacturer of the defective part. An investigation of the vehicle that caused the accident can confirm whether or not the vehicle itself is to blame.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
Trying to determine what happened in a multi-vehicle accident is complicated. There may be multiple at-fault parties, and which drivers are at fault may not be immediately clear. Attorneys are experts at independently investigating multi-vehicle accidents, identifying who was at fault, and helping you build a solid case that will stand up in front of a judge. Having an attorney by your side through the claims process is essential to maximizing the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries and property damage.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Lawyer?
Our attorneys at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC operate on contingency fees. This means that you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case in court. There is no upfront cost to you. If we win a settlement or an award for you, we get paid. If we don’t, you don’t owe us anything.
Get in Touch with Our Attorneys
Automobile accidents can be severe, especially when there are multiple vehicles involved. Serious injuries can result in enormous medical bills, extensive physical therapy, lost wages, and immense pain and suffering. The property damage to your vehicle caused by someone else’s negligence can result in expensive repair bills.
At Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, we work hard to get the victims of multi-vehicle accidents the full and fair compensation they deserve for the damages they’ve suffered. If you’ve been the victim of a collision involving multiple vehicles, get in touch with one of our attorneys today at 337-800-8800 to get the claims process started.