How Is Liability Determined in a Chain Reaction Auto Collision?

Posted on: 8 June 2021

A chain reaction auto accident is when multiple vehicles are involved in the same collision. More often than not, there is more than one driver who is at fault. Vehicles in these collisions tend to suffer more than one impact, and because of this, injuries can be rather severe, some even requiring extensive medical treatment. There are many reasons for multi-vehicle accidents, including speeding, bad weather, fatigued driving, distracted driving, and driving under the influence. When it comes to determining liability in a chain reaction crash, things can get tricky. Here are a few things that you need to be aware of.

Determining Liability When More Than One Driver May Be Responsible

When you are driving down the road and another vehicle cuts right in front of you with zero warning, causing you to crash into them, the driver of that vehicle is likely the one to blame due to the fact that they changed lanes improperly. However, if you were also struck from behind by another driver because they were following you too closely, that driver may also be held responsible due to tailgating. In this particular instance, you—the victim—would be able to seek compensation from both of the other drivers because they were both found at fault for causing the crash.

Order of Impact Does Matter When Determining Liability

The police are called to the scene of an auto accident, including chain reaction accidents. The authorities will speak to each driver individually and ask what transpired. When they do this, they are attempting to find out the order of vehicle impact.

For instance, if the crash occurred in the middle of an intersection, one driver could have run a stop sign or red light and got struck by the driver who actually had the right of way in the intersection. The vehicle that was behind the car with the right of way could have then crashed into the initial vehicle since they did not have sufficient time to bring their vehicle to a halt.

As the police investigate the collision, they may find that there was an automobile speeding a couple of vehicles back that actually struck the one in front of it, causing a chain reaction, sending the car that ran the light or stop sign into the middle of the intersection where the driver with the right of way struck it.

Determining Liability with Witness Statements

When it comes to auto accident claims, witness statements play a significant role. Chain reaction accidents often occur in high-traffic areas, which means that there are typically a lot of individuals around to witness the collision. These individuals can provide statements detailing what transpired, helping to determine liability.

If you have been involved in a chain reaction accident, reach out to a personal injury attorney.