Multiple Car Accident: Who is at Fault?
Multiple car accidents are quite common in Rhode Island. We see them on the news. Maybe, even on the way to work. Investigating multiple car accidents can prove extremely complex. This is because there are a number of parties, insurance companies or even attorneys involved. Eyewitness testimony may vary or even be contradictory depending on each person’s perspective. It can be quite a challenge to establish who was responsible or what triggered the collision. Let us take a look at what you can expect as well as the actions you can take if you become involved in such a situation.
Complex InvestigationWhen a multi-car collision or a pileup occurs, police or highway officials will arrive at the scene to investigate. They will examine a variety of details including the condition of the vehicles, the position of the vehicles, actions of drivers involved, and roadway and weather conditions.
Often, a number of factors must be examined in order to determine precisely who or what caused the collision. Did one of the drivers act in a reckless manner? Did alcohol, distracted driving, fatigued driving or excessive speed cause or contribute to the collision? Was a dangerous roadway or intersection a factor in the collision? The police report will usually state which driver is at fault and have a narrative of how the incident unfolded.
Fault and LiabilityThe fault or blame for such an accident will be determined by the police officer who writes the report. Insurance adjusters will also get involved. If there is suspected criminal activity such as driving under the influence, then, defense lawyers may also get involved. Depending on the circumstances and findings, more than one party may be held liable for the accident. For example, one driver may be held 75 percent at fault, while another driver may face 25 percent of the blame.
Protecting Your RightsInevitably, such factors and causes for a multi-vehicle accident result in its investigation becoming complicated. Officials must sift through a lot of physical evidence from the scene and make sense of potentially conflicting eyewitness testimony. Often, injuries and damages are more extensive in a multi-car crash compared to a single-car or even a two-car crash. Both drivers and passengers tend to be more severely injured in these types of crashes.
So, what can you do to protect your rights in the aftermath of such an accident? Here are a few steps you can take:
• Do not speak with anyone at the scene. Do talk to the police officer or detective and give them your account of what occurred. Never admit fault for the accident or get into specifics.
• Do not speak with insurance adjusters or attorneys for other parties. They may try to use what you say against you.
• Get medical attention right away and follow the doctor’s orders.
• Contact an experienced Brockton auto accident lawyer who will ensure that all evidence is preserved and thoroughly examined by an expert.
• Do not give insurance companies or anyone other than your lawyer access to your medical records or financial information.
• Do not sign any paperwork you don’t understand. Don’t sign anything without discussing with your attorney.
• Do not rush into a settlement. Insurance companies frequently offer quick settlements to make the case go away. But, this may hurt you because once you agree to a settlement, you may not be able to seek compensation for medical or rehabilitative treatment needed in the future.