Who is Liable For an Accident Involving Multiple Cars?
Car crashes are usually scary, but crashes involving multiple cars can be especially terrifying. Multi-car crashes, chain-reaction collisions, and pile-ups are among the most dangerous types of motor vehicle accidents simply because of the damage they can inflict on the parties and vehicles involved.
Such accidents are likewise complicated since various defendants, injured victims, insurance providers, and lawyers are involved, which makes it harder for you to build your claim and prove your losses on your own. This is why establishing fault and liability for a multi-car accident is crucial. Unfortunately, doing so can be tricky.
Who is At-Fault for a Multi-Car Accident?
To establish liability for the accident, you first need to establish which party was negligent and caused the crash. In motor vehicle accidents, negligence refers to a driver’s failure to exercise their duty of care to other motorists and road users. If you can prove that the driver’s negligent actions caused the accident and the resulting injuries and property damage, they may be held liable for the accident-related damages.
So when determining fault and liability for multi-car accidents, the main question that involved parties must answer is, “Could they have done something to prevent that specific part of the crash they caused?”
For example, if driver A crashed into driver B, and driver B crashed into driver C, who is at fault for the crash? Driver A is probably at-fault, right? However, driver B might be liable as well if driver C claims that driver B swerved after getting hit by driver A, and driver B wouldn’t have crashed into driver C if they didn’t swerve.
Furthermore, what if driver C argues that driver B was following too closely before driver A hit them, and had driver B been following driver C with the proper distance, driver B would not have crashed into driver C? Put simply, there are many variables and factors to consider in multi-vehicle crashes and lots of reasons how and why they occur.
The Importance and Challenges of Proving Fault and Liability in Multi-Car Crash Cases
Multi-car crashes are normally drawn out and severely contested because they involve multiple claims from multiple parties. Sometimes, only one driver is deemed 100% liable for, and in other cases, multiple drivers may share the liability for the crash.
The degree of fault for the crash is important because, under New Jersey’s negligence laws, the fault of the party seeking compensation can’t be more than the fault of the other party from whom compensation is sought. This means that the amount of compensation you can recover will be reduced by the degree of fault assigned to you.
Talk to a Top New Jersey Accident Attorney Today
If you were involved in a multi-car crash, you will need an experienced New Jersey car accident attorney to protect your legal rights. You can trust the Leonard Legal Group to fight greedy and unfair insurance companies that are only concerned about their bottom line.
Scott Leonard is a board-certified civil trial attorney with over 25 years’ experience and has handled thousands of car crash cases. Leonard Legal Group can help you get the compensation and justice you deserve. Contact us online or call 973-984-1414 to schedule a free consultation with our New Jersey car accident attorney at your convenience.