J&Y Law Firm discusses who is typically responsible in multi-vehicle accidents.

Who Is Responsible in a Multi-Vehicle Accident?

Determining fault for a car accident is crucial to receiving compensation for injuries, damages, and losses. Under California personal injury laws, the person responsible for causing the collision is responsible for the damages caused by the accident. However, proving who caused a multi-vehicle accident can be difficult. An experienced California car accident attorney may need to retain experts, such as accident reconstructionists, to help recreate the accident to determine fault and liability.

Common Types of Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Several different types of car accidents can result in multiple vehicles being involved in the crash. Some common types of multi-vehicle accidents include:

  • Rear-end Crashes — A rear-end crash may begin with two vehicles, but it could ultimately involve several vehicles. When a vehicle rear-ends the vehicle in front of it, the front vehicle can be pushed into another vehicle. Likewise, when a vehicle rear-ends the vehicle in front of it, it can cause a chain reaction in which several vehicles rear-end the vehicle in front of them.
  • Side-Impact Accidents — Side-impact crashes or T-bone crashes typically begin with two vehicles. One vehicle slams into the side of another vehicle, typically when a vehicle fails to yield the right of way to another vehicle. However, the collision can push the vehicle struck into oncoming traffic, which could result in another collision. Vehicles approaching the accident may not be able to stop in time to avoid crashing into one or both vehicles.
  • Large Truck Accidents — Accidents involving large vehicles often occur on interstates and highways. These accidents typically involve multiple vehicles instead of just the truck and another vehicle. Because of the size of the truck, it pushes cars into other vehicles or strikes multiple vehicles simultaneously.
  • Head-On Crashes — A head-on collision involves one vehicle crashing into the front of another vehicle. These accidents are common on two-lane roads. Vehicles following the two vehicles on both sides of the road may not be able to stop before crashing into one of the vehicles. 

Unfortunately, any traffic accident can turn into a multi-vehicle accident. 

Determining Which Driver or Drivers Were at Fault for a Multi-Vehicle Crash

Sorting out how the collision occurred is the key to proving which drivers were at fault for causing the car crash. In some cases, one driver might have the sole responsibility for causing the crash. However, there are cases in which multiple drivers played roles in the cause of the accident. Insurance companies have a strong incentive in placing the blame on other drivers to mitigate their liability for the accident. 

In addition to determining which drivers might have played roles in the cause of a car accident, it is also important to determine the degree of fault for each driver. However, assigning degrees of fault can be even more difficult than determining which drivers caused the collision. 

In many multi-vehicle accidents, it is necessary to retain experts to reconstruct the crash. By reconstructing the crash step by step, experts can identify each factor that contributed to the cause of the crash, identify the driver who played that role and assign degrees of fault. 

Contact a California Car Accident Attorney

Assigning fault for a multi-vehicle accident is an important step. However, it can lower the value of your personal injury claim. Under California’s comparative negligence laws, your compensation for the accident can be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you for the collision. Make sure you work with an experienced California car accident attorney who fights to ensure that you are not blamed for a car accident that you did not cause. Contact our California personal injury attorneys today.