Every motor vehicle accident has the potential to be serious and complicated. However, when there are more than a couple vehicles involved in a crash, the situation can become even more serious -- and complex.
In these situations, there can be several injured victims, multiple damaged vehicles and many different versions of what happened. Sorting everything out for the purposes of determining liability and pursuing compensation can be difficult, but there are ways to do it.
Figuring out what happened
In multi-car crashes, there may be just one party at fault or there could be multiple parties to blame. One driver might rear-end another driver and start a chain reaction of rear-end collisions.
Or, a speeding driver might crash into a texting driver who drifted out of his or her lane, causing a fatigued trucker who was following a fourth driver too closely to crash into several other vehicles that stopped to avoid the initial accident.
In either case, the parties involved should get as much information as possible. This includes dash cam footage, photos of the scene, statements from witnesses and accounts from the other drivers involved.
Because multiple parties may hold liability in multi-car crashes, it is up to the insurance companies or courts to determine who is to blame and to what extent he or she is to blame.
Keep in mind, though, that your insurance policy will affect whether you can file a lawsuit against a negligent driver for certain types of damages, and whether others can file a suit against you. As such, determining liability may not be necessary in all cases.
Taking legal action
After an accident involving multiple vehicles, it can be difficult to know what seriously injured victims and their families can do in terms of recovering damages. However, it is important to understand that even if you were liable for part of an accident, Pennsylvania comparative negligence laws allow you to still pursue and recover damages from other parties who were more negligent.
Because of this, it can be wise to work with an attorney who can investigate the accident and help to identify the other negligent parties from whom recovery may be possible.