Who’s to Blame in a Multiple Car Accident?
A car accident involving two cars is technically a multiple car accident, but most people think of multi-car wrecks as having many more vehicles involved. Often called a pileup, when numerous vehicles collide in a chain reaction, it frequently has deadlier results than single or even two-car collisions.
When the same vehicle gets hit several times by multiple vehicles from several different directions, the increased amount of broken glass, flying debris and twisted metal is a recipe for a disaster. It’s also difficult to decide who’s to blame and insurance companies typically hold out on settlements until they complete a thorough investigation. That is why multi-car accident victims in Louisiana need experienced New Orleans car accident lawyers in their corner.
Who’s At Fault?
According to theNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 6,296,000 traffic accidents in 2015. While 1,822,000 of these crashes involved single vehicles, 4,474,000 involved two or more vehicles. Collisions involving multiple vehicles often start with a single compounding incident, such as:
- Bad Weather
- Poor Road Conditions
- Inattentive Driving
- Impaired Driving
- Speeding in High Traffic
- Speeding in Construction Zones
- Running Red Lights
- Road Rage
- Rubbernecking at Another Accident
Louisiana is an At-Fault state, so the court will try to determine who was legally at fault for a traffic accident and hold the negligent driver accountable. This makes the driver and his/her insurance company liable for any injuries and property damage that occurred. However, the more vehicles involved in an accident, the more complex it is to determine fault. Often, the court finds that more than one driver is at-fault and holds each of them responsible to varying degrees.
Contributory Versus Comparative Negligence
In multi-vehicle accidents, fault/blame may be spread between several vehicles, including your own. Being found at fault means some negligence on your part was partially to blame for the wreck. For example, a car that was following too closely behind you rear-ended you when you slowed to turn a corner, but you failed to signal. The court may blame your negligence, as well as the other driver’s.
If you live in a state that follows contributory negligence rules, you may not receive any compensation. Luckily,Louisiana has comparative fault, so each driver can receive compensation based on the percentage of his/her fault.
Since multi-vehicle accidents seldom completely have one driver at fault. Each driver received a percentage of the blame. This could be anywhere between 0% to 100% depending on the circumstances. However, even if the court says you were 99% to blame, you can still recover 1% of your damages.
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