Who Is Held Liable in Multi-Car Accidents?

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation’s most recent crash facts, a whopping 106,809 of all 126,845 car accidents last year involved multiple vehicles. It only takes one careless driver to overlook brake lights and slam into the car in front of them, which could cause several cars to rear-end each other. These accidents can have seriously dangerous aftermaths for many people. Drivers can become pinned inside their cars, and others who are able get out could get injured by the broken glass and debris scattered by the damaged cars. But, who is liable in multi-car accidents?

Who Is to Blame for A Multi-Car Accident?

Often, the last driver involved in a multi-car accident is found liable for failure to maintain an assured clear distance. But Arizona practices the rule of comparative negligence when dealing with personal injury cases. That means a plaintiff who is considered to be liable – even by an incredibly small percentage – will have some of their damages deducted for the role they played in the incident.

In a multi-car accident, one might assume that the last driver is 100% at fault, because their failure to stop has caused an entire line of cars in front of them to ram into each other. However, other drivers in the accident could possibly have been negligent as well.

For example, a driver could be distracted and have a slower reaction time, and another driver may have failed to maintain a safe distance from a car in front of them. In the case of a multi-car accident, determining negligence can be difficult. Police reports, photographs of the scene, and accounts from witnesses can all help when trying to prove your case.

Dealing With Insurance Companies

An accident involving three or more drivers could also involve three or more different insurance companies. Because their main goal is to keep costs down and pay out as little as possible, these companies will work to prove the fault lies with another driver, not their insured client. It’s not very likely that a handful of insurance companies can all agree to one settlement.

If you find yourself in this situation, it may be best to consult a personal injury attorney because your case may end up in court.

Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney

A multi-car accident can be very frightening and can result in serious injuries. If you were involved in a wreck involving several other drivers, you are likely facing expensive car repairs, and possibly medical bills and other expenses. The attorneys at Udall Shumway, PLC understand how difficult it can be to prove fault in a car accident. Let us fight for the compensation you deserve, allowing you more time to focus on your recovery.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you or someone you know wishes to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney regarding Liable in Multi-Car Accidents, or other personal injury matters, call Mesa AZ Personal Injury Attorney Clark R. Richter at 480-461-5321 or contact him at crr@udallshumway.com for a free consultation to discuss your rights and options. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.