29 Apr Who is at Fault for a Multi-Car Accident?
We contend with a variety of difficult and painful accident situations at Gruenberg Kelly Della, but some of the most frustrating are car accidents involving multiple vehicles. Like many personal-injury episodes, these accidents can be complex, so it’s worth the time to look at some common occurrences regarding who would be culpable.
Here are a few scenarios to consider:
Chain-Reaction Type of Accident
Car accidents involving just two vehicles are stressful enough, but sometimes accidents spiral out of control, causing a chain reaction, and involve numerous other vehicles. One of the most common multi-car accident scenarios occurs when one vehicle rear-ends another (usually at a stoplight), and then that vehicle is forced to rear-end the vehicle in front of them, and so forth.
The guilty party may not be as obvious as you would think. Sure, whoever triggered the accident by failing to reduce their speed may be the most culpable, but there may be additional blame on the intermediary drivers if they were following too closely or doing something negligent. This is why it’s so important to report accidents promptly and have the authorities (including your attorney) investigate the accident forensics.
Volatile Intersection Accidents
Have you seen an accident at a busy intersection where first one car collides with another, but then one or both of them lose control and hit yet a third vehicle (or more)? This frightening scenario also requires the use of accident reconstruction on the part of your legal team. Most of the time, especially with the aid of eyewitness testimony, the investigator can determine that responsibility rests with whoever started the first collision.
Highway accidents involving multiple vehicles can be the most complex. Was it the result of driver error? Did a faulty brake system contribute? What about improperly-marked construction zones (which would potentially implicate the local government)? Just like the other two scenarios, there isn’t always a clear answer because of all the intervening factors. That’s why it’s critical to obtain a proper investigation following every incident.
There are other ways for multiple cars to collide, but we’ve found these examples to be the most common. New York and other states have specific laws pertaining to “joint and several liability,” that can come into play in multi-car accidents.
Gruenberg Kelly Della always wants to help our clientele gain the relevant background for all the potential personal-injury accidents. We deal with these every day at the service of our clients all around New York. If you’ve been in a multi-car accident and are unsure who was at fault, please call us soon at (631) 737-4110 to find out how we can help.