What Are Common Causes of Multi-Vehicle Accidents in St. Louis
Most multi-vehicle accidents are caused by the negligence of one or more drivers. Common types of accidents that lead to multi-car collisions are:
- Rear-end accidents — These are the most common type of car accident. When a car drives into the rear of another with enough force, it can cause the second car to collide with others.
- Distracted driving — Distracted driving can cause multi-vehicle accidents because of traditional distractions such as texting and driving, eating, being engaged in conversation and more. Chain reaction crashes can also happen when an accident occurs with one or two vehicles, and another driver or drivers looks at the accident instead of the road in front of them.
- Intersection accidents — The majority of auto accidents that cause injury occur at 4-way intersections. With so many cars going in different directions and turning, it is no surprise that often more than two vehicles can be involved.
- Speeding — Speeding lowers a driver's reaction time, and adds more force to an accident that can knock one car into other cars.
- Truck accidents — Because of its size, when an 18-wheeler is involved in a jackknife accident or rollover accident, it can end up colliding with multiple vehicles.
- Weather-related accidents — A driver can lose control of their car due to inclement weather, especially if they are not driving safely for the conditions. When that happens, the weather also causes other drivers to have less time to react.
- Highway accidents — High speeds and dozens of vehicles going around and past each other can cause "pileup" accidents.
Burger Law's St. Louis multi-vehicle accident lawyers have over 30 years of experience investigating and litigating each type of these claims.
Who is Liable in a Multi-Vehicle Accident in St. Louis, MO?
While some multi-vehicle accidents are the fault of just one driver, there can be other "chain reaction" accidents where more than one driver can be at fault. If multiple parties are at fault, you can seek compensation from any, or all, of the liable parties. If it's a chain reaction crash, where one person rear ends another driver, only would party would be at fault. But, if one car was swerving, another driver was distracted and did not react to it, then there may be two liable parties.
There may also be third parties who are liable who are not present at the time of the crash. Those may include:
- A trucking company, if a truck driver was responsible for the multi-vehicle accident
- A vehicle manufacturer in a product liability claim
- A construction company if the accident occurred on or near a construction site
- A local government or municipality if they did not safely design or maintain a road
Identifying every liable party is crucial in a multi-vehicle accident. If your damages exceed one at-fault driver's policy limits, you can file claims against the other at-fault parties.
Missouri is a "pure comparative negligence" state, meaning each liable party is responsible for a portion of your damages, based on the percentage of fault they share for your injuries. Meaning, say a trier of fact finds that Driver A is 75 percent responsible for your injuries, and that Driver B is 25 percent responsible. If you have $100,000 in damages, Driver A's insurance company would be liable for $75,000, while Driver B's would have to pay you $25,000.
Comparative negligence also means that you can still receive compensation if you were partially at fault, but the amount would be lowered. In the above example, if a fact-finder determines that you were responsible for 25 percent of the accident, you would be eligible for $75,000 in compensation.