Multi-Car Accidents can be complicated for all involved. Of the 10 million crashes that will occur in the next year, 2 million of them will result in significant injuries or death. If you were injured, who do you go to get compensation? Do you have a different opinion on who was at fault? Was there more than one initial mistake? With all the variable elements, accidents involving 3 or more vehicles can lead to drawn out investigations and debates.
The more vehicles that were involved in a crash, the harder it may be to find who or what was truly at fault in all cases. It also means that there is a larger number of potentially injured drivers and passengers. Multi-vehicle accidents lead to the deadliest injuries. As vehicle after vehicle is caught in this chain of events, the greater the risk of further injury to anyone already involved. If you were injured, you need compensation now.
Medical bills and mortgage payments won't wait. Further, your vehicle may have been irreparably damaged, and you need a way to get around. To help you get the compensation you need faster, this guide aims to walk you through the claim process for multi-car accidents or accidents involving multiple vehicles.
What You Must Do First
Get an official report from your doctor about your health. To proceed with the rest of your claim, you need a clear picture of where you stand after the accident. When you visit your doctor or the ER, make sure you tell them about the type of accident you were in and have them check any area of pain or concern.
Though you may not feel it at first car accidents can lead to some health problems own the road. Not only can the trauma effect you physically but it can affect your mental health as well. Always be on the lookout for increased feelings of anxiousness or nightmares in family members who may have been in the crash with you as these may be symptoms of a developing panic disorder.
Looking after your mental health after a collision can and often is included in medical compensation if it is well documented. If you still have access to the scene of the crash or your own vehicle, be sure to take photos. Beyond that, make a written record of everything you remember from before the accident until now. These records are necessary.
How Multi Car Accidents Happen
Car accidents involving multiple vehicles could have several causes. In most cases, the fault lies with the driver that instigated the initial crash or accident. They may have been impaired by alcohol, under the influence, distracted, or speeding and unable to adapt to changing conditions. In other instances, they may have simply been the recipient of bad luck as a part in their car broke down due to a manufacturing defect. The weather may have sent their vehicle careening into oncoming traffic. They may even have fallen asleep or had a heart attack.
When There Is No Fault
In at least one of the cases listed above, you can see that an accident like this could happen to anyone. The weather and medical emergencies are hardly avoidable. If a driver had taken every available precaution but fell victim to one of those unfortunate circumstances, fault may be indeterminate.
In these rare cases, you may have quite a long road ahead of you if you are seeking compensation. Here you are better off seeking the advice of an experienced attorney and carefully considering all your options.
Why You Need a Qualified, Experienced Attorney on Your Team
Even in situations where fault is obvious, and especially if you are deemed partially at fault, having an attorney at your side can help you receive the compensation you need. If you happen to be in a state that allows no one that was determined at fault to receive compensation, they may be able to help you prove that you are not, in fact, at fault. Additionally, it is possible that they will be able to outline options for you that you may not have known about. In any case, be as open and honest as you can with your attorney. In return, they should be honest with you. Ask any question you feel is necessary for your first consultation. Have a written account of the accident with you and a copy of your medical report and the police report if you can get it.
An experienced attorney will be able to guide you through every step of the multi-car accident claims process. They've been here before and should have no trouble helping you choose the best path. If you are injured or in pain, this kind of support can prove invaluable, especially if you require any type of long term medical care or compensation due to your accident.
Determining Fault and Filing a Suit
Determining fault in an accident involving many vehicles is a difficult task. The insurance companies involved will try to find it elsewhere, and it isn't surprising to see the local police trying to pass off the responsibility. Investigators hired by insurance agencies will, in many instances, keep their findings to what matters to a given insurer rather than try to puzzle out the entire accident. To get adequate compensation, you may have to adopt some of their tactics and do your own detective work.
If on the other hand, you hire an attorney, they will have their own process for gathering evidence and any necessary testimony. To find out who was at fault in any accident, the investigators will look at what each driver has to say.
They will also look at any traffic camera footage and phone records, if possible. They will look for potential distractions, signs of speeding, intoxication, outstanding warrants, and lack of insurance. If any of these shows up as a red flag for any driver, it will be up to them or their representative to prove that they are not at fault. If they cannot, they or their insurer will pay for damages caused. In cases where everyone has "no-fault" insurance, this situation is greatly simplified.
Though it is an arguably less "fair" system, no-fault insurance distributes the burden of compensation in a relatively even way among insurers. In this way, everyone is taken care of sooner.
Dealing With Insurers and Third Parties
After being in a car crash and potentially sustaining an injury or worse the last thing you want to do in the end up fighting an insurance company for compensation. In a multi-vehicle accident, fault is not usually apparent. Many insurance companies will put off making a settlement offer if they can, even if it means resorting to litigation. If anyone accuses you of being at-fault, you have the right to provide evidence to the contrary.
You may even want to expect that someone will accuse you of being partially at fault and prepare for it. If you happen to have an attorney on your team, this will be something they will take care of. It's not unusually for an insurance company to want to spread the blame around as much as they can, lessening what they must spend as they do.
Multi-Car Accidents Take Time to Resolve
Though the above is true, you should be able to get your medical bills taken care of now, if nothing else. An attorney can walk you through the process of filing claims that will take care of every contingency, so you won't have to worry about one thing falling through and being left with no other options.