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January 28, 2020 | Gary Burger

How Do Cases Involving Multiple Cars Work?

Unlike cases involving a single car or two vehicles, multiple car accidents can be challenging in regards to determining liability. Especially, if the crash is a multi-car pile-up or involves other types of negligence, such as bad weather or a company vehicle.

If you've been injured in a multiple car accident and need help understanding liability in multi-vehicle accidents or how to file a multi-car accident claim in your state, in this FAQ, we'll offer an overview of the multiple car accident claim process. If you have questions about your specific multi-car accident case or want to learn more about our firm, Burger Law, call our car accident lawyers in St. Louis at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222. We don't charge any fees for consultations, and never ask for any attorney fees unless we win damages for your case.

Common Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Multi-vehicle accidents, also known as "chain reaction" crashes, typically occur when one vehicle hits another from behind, causing it to hit the vehicle in front of them, and so on. Multi-car accidents occur most often in bad weather conditions, such as rain and snow, and typically involve multiple types of negligence, including speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2018 alone, there were 17,079 fatal accidents in the U.S. involving multiple vehicles. Multi-vehicle crashes can happen in a number of ways, but the most common types of chain reaction crashes include:

  • Rear-End Collisions - when one vehicle hits another vehicle on the highway or at an intersection from behind, a rear-end multi-vehicle crash could occur
  • Sideswipe Accidents - distracted driving, icy roads, and other negligent driving conditions can cause drivers to swerve into another lane, and consequently, another vehicle, resulting in a sideswipe accident that could affect one or more vehicles
  • Rollover Accidents - if a car or truck rolls over, and other vehicles don't see the stalled vehicle, this could cause a multi-vehicle pileup

After a multi-car accident, it's essential to collect evidence, involve the police, and swap information with all parties involved. Evidence can quickly deteriorate after an accident, especially accidents involving multiple vehicles, but immediately filing a police report ensures that evidence is preserved.

During this time, you'll also need to hire a car accident lawyer in St. Louis to represent your case. Each party involved in the accident likely has an insurance agent and a lawyer whose job is to negotiate the best settlement for their client. Having an attorney by your side during this time offers protection from insurance agents, lawyers, and other tactics from parties involved.

Liability in Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Liability is clear in some types of multi-vehicle accidents, such as rear-end and stop sign accidents. Generally, in these types of accidents, the at-fault party is the second vehicle in the chain. However, in other types of multi-vehicle accidents, it can be challenging to determine who is responsible. After a multi-vehicle collision, it's essential to gather proof of the accident and proof of your injuries and call an attorney to determine liability in the accident.

Depending on a state's negligence laws, and liability in the accident (one at-fault party, two at-fault parties), you may or may not be able to sue for damages. Some states (at-fault states) allow more than one party to recover compensation that's commiserate to the level of fault in the accident, while other states (no-fault states) don't let either party sue for damages, even if one person is solely to blame -- all claims must be filed against your own insurance policy.

Recoverable damages for multi-car accidents differ for each case, but with proof of the accident and proof of your injuries, your multi-car accident lawyer in St. Louis can make sure that you recover compensation for all damages attributed to the accident, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. If you were the victim of an accident involving multiple cars, Burger Law provides the highest quality legal representation to car accident victims in Missouri and Illinois. If you have questions about the legal process for multiple car accident claims, call or contact our car accident lawyers in St. Louis at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222. We don't charge any fees for consultations, and never ask for attorney fees unless we win damages for your case.