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Multi-Vehicle and Chain Reaction Car Accidents
Multi-Vehicle and Chain Reaction Car Accidents
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“Forest, once again, my family and I thank you for obtaining another settlement on behalf of my Father. It’s almost uncanny that these checks seem to come at very opportune times. This one comes as we are expecting our fourth grandchild. It will provide her some sound footing towards her future college education, plus help Mom and Dad with the medical expenses. Sometimes, I think my Dad is helping you guys with this. Maybe so. Anyway, thank you again for your hard work.”

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Multi-vehicle accidents involving three or more vehicles are more complex than a typical car accident case. If you have been injured, you may be one of multiple people pursuing a claim against the same driver. Alternatively, you may have a claim against more than one person. Identifying the cause and determining what happened can also be more complicated. If you have been injured in a multi-vehicle or chain-reaction car accident, you need a North Carolina multi-vehicle accident lawyer who understands these types of cases and can help you get fair compensation. 

Types of Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Every car accident is unique and this is no different when the accident involves multiple vehicles. Identifying the particular type of accident you have been involved in can help understand what happened and how you should proceed. Generally speaking, every multi-vehicle accident falls into one of the following categories: 

  1. Intersection accidents where two vehicles collide and one or both then crash into other cars in the intersection.
  2. Rear-end accidents are where one vehicle collides with another from behind and pushes it into the car in front of it. 
  3. Bad weather accidents are caused by dangerous road conditions and poor visibility.
  4. Chain reaction accidents on highways and interstates where due to the high rate of speed and close proximity of other vehicles one accident causes multiple other accidents simultaneously. 
  5. Highway mayhem accidents where one car, typically driving at an excessive rate of speed, loses control and crashes into several other vehicles before coming to a stop. 

Understanding the types of multi-vehicle accidents can help identify the cause of your accident and who may be at fault. That said, every case is unique and requires careful analysis of the facts. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to review your case and determine whether you may have a claim. 

Gathering the Evidence You Need in a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident

Multi-vehicle car accidents can be chaotic and, as a result, it can be extremely difficult to sort out what happened. Depending on where you were at the time the accident occurred, you may not even know how the accident began or who else was involved. In order to pursue a claim, you will need to gather evidence that supports your case. Unfortunately, this is often a challenge in multi-vehicle accidents, but here are some places to start: 

  • Photos of the damage to your vehicle and other vehicles
  • Photos of the scene of the accident including where other vehicles came to rest
  • Photos of any injuries you suffered
  • Traffic camera and dashcam video footage
  • Obtaining statements and contact information for other drivers involved in the accident and other witnesses

The days following your accident are important to the success of your case. If you failed to get this evidence at the scene of the accident, however, do not be alarmed – a multivehicle accident attorney can help gather the evidence you need to build your case. 

Can More Than One Driver Be at Fault in a Multi-Vehicle Accident?

One of the things that make multi-vehicle accidents complex is that the driver who hit you may not be the one responsible for causing the accident. Depending on the situation, the driver who hit you may not bear any responsibility. In other cases, you may have a claim against more than one driver. 

For example, if you were rear-ended by another vehicle, you would normally pursue a claim against the driver who struck you. However, if that driver was pushed into you when they were struck by another driver, then you would pursue a claim against the driver who began the accident. But if the driver who struck you was tailgating or speeding, you may have a claim against both drivers if you can prove the driver who struck you could have avoided the accident had they been driving safely. 

As you can see, multi-vehicle accidents can quickly become very complicated. A multi-vehicle accident lawyer can help you determine who should be held responsible for your injuries. 

Identifying All At-Fault Drivers Is Critical to Your Case

One of the reasons why multi-vehicle accidents are complicated is that you may have multiple parties pursuing a claim against the same driver. If that driver is able to prove that someone else is at least partially responsible for causing the accident, it can significantly impact whether those claims are paid. 

Furthermore, it’s important to remember that North Carolina is one of a handful of states that follows the “pure contributory negligence” rule. Under this rule, any driver who may have contributed to the accident is barred from pursuing a claim for compensation. As a result, the at-fault driver may try to claim that you were also at fault as a way of avoiding liability. 

Making an incorrect assumption about who is at fault for causing the accident can be disastrous. Knowing how to proceed is almost as important as the substantive aspects of your case. In addition, you need to carefully consider all of the evidence and who may be at fault in order to develop a successful legal strategy for pursuing your claim. For this reason, pursuing a multi-vehicle accident claim can be very difficult for non-lawyers. A lawyer with experience in handling multi-vehicle accidents will know how to proceed with your claim. 

You May Need to File Multiple Claims

Cases, where there is more than one at-fault driver, can be very complex. In short, you may need to file claims with multiple insurance companies in order to get the compensation you deserve. This means that you will likely need to negotiate with multiple different parties in order to settle your claim, which can be exhausting. 

In addition, it is very likely that the parties will not agree on who was at fault or even what caused the accident. Disagreements over the facts and various legal issues can result in significant delays in the payment of your claim. More importantly, it also means that your case is more likely to proceed to litigation. 

An experienced North Carolina multi-vehicle accident lawyer will know how to minimize delays and get results as quickly as possible. They can handle the negotiation process on your behalf, and provide guidance on whether you should settle or proceed with litigation. And of course, a lawyer can help you successfully navigate the court system. 

Common Injuries Suffered by People in Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Car accidents involving multiple vehicles can result in very serious injuries, especially those that happen at intersections or on the highway. The combination of different forces from different directions, speeds, and other vehicles can result in multiple injuries, including the following: 

  • Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck injuries including whiplash
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Torn ligaments and tendons
  • Internal organ damage
  • Severe lacerations

It’s not uncommon for many injuries to manifest themselves in the days following your accident. Do not assume that you cannot pursue a claim if you declined medical treatment at the scene of the accident. Listen to your body and get the treatment you need, and then discuss with a lawyer whether you should consider pursuing a claim. 

You May Be Entitled to Compensation

When you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to be made whole under the law. Unfortunately, many people attempt to settle their claim without a lawyer and settle for far less than their case is worth. A North Carolina multi-vehicle accident lawyer can help you pursue a claim for all of your losses, including the following: 

  • Damage to your vehicle
  • Lost wages and loss of earning expectancy
  • Your medical bills, especially any uncovered losses such as deductibles and copays
  • Your pain and suffering

The value of your claim will depend on a variety of factors including the severity of your injuries, whether your injuries are permanent, and whether you will suffer temporary or permanent disabilities as a result of the accident. An experienced multi-vehicle car accident attorney can help you get the compensation you need to rebuild your life following your accident.

Injured in a Multi-Vehicle or Chain Reaction Car Accident? Contact Martin & Jones Today 

Car accidents involving multiple vehicles can be extraordinarily complex. From the factual issues to understanding how the law applies to your case, you need someone who can help you get the compensation you deserve. At Martin & Jones, our car accident lawyers have decades of experience with all types of car accidents. We know the challenges you face, but more importantly, we know how to get results. To speak with someone about your accident and your options, call us today at 800-662-1234 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. 

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