What Accident Victims Need to Know About Multi-Vehicle Crashes

tan car after serious accidentWhen an accident involves more than two vehicles, it can be difficult to determine which driver was responsible for the crash, or if more than one driver contributed to the collision.

Causes of Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Driver errors, road conditions and other factors can cause multiple vehicle accidents. Other common causes of multi-vehicle crashes include:

  • Distracted driving - Cellphones, GPS systems, passengers, radios and other factors can take a driver’s mind and eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. Losing focus on driving for even a few seconds can dramatically increase the risk of a collision.
  • Impaired driving - Consuming alcohol or drugs can lower inhibitions and change perceptions, causing a driver to drift out of his or her lane, travel at an unsafe speed, or engage in other reckless driving behaviors that have the potential to cause a multi-vehicle crash.
  • Drowsy driving - When a driver falls asleep behind the wheel, his or her vehicle may drift through multiple lanes of traffic. Other vehicles may be sideswiped or hit, causing a chain reaction that leads to a multi-car pileup. Drowsy driving caused 5,000 deaths in 2015 alone.
  • Speeding - At high speeds, a driver has less time to respond to road hazards and can lose control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of an accident.
  • Weather - Many drivers fail to adjust their driving for inclement weather conditions, increasing danger. When it snows or rains, or if there is ice on the road, vehicles lose traction and visibility can be reduced, increasing the likelihood of a collision.

Who Is at Fault?

There are many factors that determine which parties are at fault in a multi-vehicle accident, including whether impairment or distraction played a role in the accident. At the Arnold Law Firm, our investigation involves many steps to gather the necessary evidence to support your case, such as:

  • Interviewing drivers and passengers involved
  • Reviewing accident scene photos
  • Using accident reconstruction technology
  • Conducting witness interviews
  • Examining traffic and red-light camera footage
  • Inspecting vehicle damage
  • Reviewing police accident reports

California’s Comparative Negligence Law

Sometimes, multiple parties can be held liable for a multi-vehicle accident. These situations are governed by California's pure comparative negligence doctrine, which determines financial responsibility for damages caused by the crash.

Under this law, each liable party is financially responsible for his or her percentage of fault. This means, if someone is 20 percent liable the accident, he or she must pay for 20 percent of the victim's damages.

The comparative negligence law also explains what to do if a victim is partially at fault for the crash. In these situations, your compensation award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 but are found 20 percent liable for the accident, your award will be reduced by $20,000, totaling a final award of $80,000.

Contact Our Lawyers for Help

If you were injured in a multi-vehicle accident, consult the skilled Sacramento car accident attorneys at the Arnold Law Firm. We help victims in many types of car accidents pursue compensation for their injuries. Our attorneys will investigate your claim and determine the parties who may be responsible for the injuries you sustained.

Request a free, no obligation consultation to have your case reviewed by our attorneys. We will determine what legal options are available in your situation. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront costs to you – you only pay if we recover compensation in your case.

Call (916) 777-7777 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form now.