Who Is Liable in a Multi-Vehicle Pileup?

Who Is Liable in a Multi-Vehicle Pileup?Multi-vehicle pileup accidents happen across cities like Las Vegas all the time. Still, determining liability can be a challenge when so many vehicles are involved.

If you have been involved in a multi-vehicle pileup and are wondering who may be liable, our Las Vegas car accident attorneys at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm can assist you. We have helped clients throughout the state of Nevada who have experienced similar issues and helped them clearly understand who was at fault and who should be held accountable for the actions that led to their accidents.

What is a multi-vehicle collision?

A multi-vehicle collision occurs when three or more vehicles are involved in an accident. It is not uncommon for tractor-trailers and buses to be involved as well.

Many people often refer to these types of accidents as “chain reaction” crashes, which means that the accident is usually caused by the first collision, but other cars became involved as a result. For example, one vehicle may rear-end another vehicle, and another vehicle in front of that vehicle was hit due to the impact of the vehicle behind it, and so on.

What are the common causes of multi-vehicle pileups?

To determine liability in a multi-vehicle pileup, your car accident attorneys will need to determine negligence. Negligence is when someone fails “to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances.” Here are a few negligent behaviors that typically lead to multi-car accidents:

  • Reckless driving: Reckless driving is a “step up,” so to speak, from careless driving. Tailgating, drag racing, and running a red light are all examples of reckless driving behaviors, and each of them can cause a multi-vehicle collision.
  • Speeding: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says speeding accounts for almost three out of every 10 fatal accidents. It is also a leading cause of injury from collisions. Speeding drivers may not be able to stop or move their cars to avoid a collision. They can also knock a car into another lane of traffic, resulting in a multi-lane, multi-vehicle crash.
  • Distracted driving: Distracted driving is when a driver is doing other activities besides focusing on the task at hand, which is driving. A few examples of distracted driving are texting, talking on the phone, changing the radio station, eating, drinking, reaching for other objects in the vehicle, putting on makeup, brushing hair, and more.
  • Driving while intoxicated: Driving while intoxicated is when an individual takes prescription medications, illegal drugs, or consumes alcohol before getting behind the wheel. Alcohol and certain drugs can reduce drivers’ reaction time, and they can easily lose control of their vehicles.
  • Not following the traffic laws: If an individual does not stop at a stop light, decides to go over the posted speed limit, or fails to properly yield, they may cause a multi-vehicle pileup.

Looking at the facts of a multi-vehicle pileup

There are several different factors that may contribute to a multi-vehicle accident, which means there are a lot of people pointing fingers at one another. For example, when there is a rear-end collision, the driver of the vehicle that hits the back of another vehicle is typically liable. However, when a multi-vehicle crash happens, any of the drivers can be found liable. It is common for more than one driver to be found at fault when these accidents occur.

To determine who should be held accountable for your injuries, your Las Vegas car accident lawyer will look at all the facts surrounding the accident. This means that they will collect evidence from the scene, analyze the details, and determine how each driver hit the other. Some of the evidence they will need are photos, video footage, witness statements, police reports, medical records, and more.

Once we have a full picture of what happened, we can recreate the circumstances of the collision.

How does compensation work when multiple parties are to blame?

If you were injured in a collision and there are multiple liable parties, you can still seek compensation. But instead of filing a lawsuit against one driver, you would file against any drivers who were a cause of the crash.

If the jury finds that multiple parties are to blame, they may split the liability. For example, say you are stopped at a red light in between two cars. A fourth driver, who is distracted by a phone, doesn’t stop in time. Driver Four hits Driver 3, who hits you (Driver 2), but you’re far enough away that you don’t hit the driver in front of you (Driver 1). In such a case, a jury might award, say, 75% liability to Driver Four and another 25% liability to Driver 3. Your compensation would then be divided 75/25 between the two liable parties.

What if I’m partially at fault for the crash?

Let’s say that you did hit Driver 1 in the scenario we described. The good news is you can still seek compensation against Driver 4 and Driver 3. The driver in front of you may make a claim against you, Driver 4, and Driver 3, but because you were not a cause of Driver 4 or Driver 3 hitting you, that claim should not affect your recovery against those two drivers. But, it can be complicated and that’s where we come in.

If you have recently been injured in a multi-vehicle pileup, our Las Vegas car accident lawyers at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm are available and ready to assist you. We are professional, experienced, and knowledgeable when it comes to these types of cases, and we will do everything we can to make sure that you receive proper compensation to cover your injuries. If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a multi-vehicle pileup, it is important that you protect your rights immediately. Call our office in Las Vegas or submit our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation today. We have an additional office in Reno and serve clients throughout Nevada who have been injured in all types of motor vehicle accidents.