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Multi-Car Crashes: How Do You Know Who’s Responsible? And How Do You Stay Safe When You’re in One?

multi car crash

Summary Statement: This article explains how to keep yourself safe following a multi-car accident, how insurance companies and law enforcement determine fault, and how a personal injury can help you.

If you have been involved in any type of car crash, you know that it can be harrowing and even catastrophic when a 3,000-pound vehicle impacts another vehicle, regardless of the speed.

When it comes to multi-car crashes, it’s even more complicated because it can be difficult to tell whose action began the chain of events that resulted in the outcome. Some situations that can result in multi-car crashes include tailgating at high speeds, which can cause one car to rear-end another that then pushes that car into another vehicle, or when a car runs a red light and opposing traffic has already begun to travel through a green light.

Here’s how you can expect the process to unfold following an accident that involves more than one vehicle, and how you can keep yourself safe:

Protect yourself

Immediately following a multi-car accident, you are likely to feel shaken, possibly injured, and uncertain what to do next. First and foremost, call the police. After that, there are some important rules of thumb to remember to keep yourself safe and protected:

  • Make sure everyone is ok and call for medical assistance if needed.
  • Carefully get yourself out of your vehicle and out of danger.
  • Remain calm and be polite.
  • Turn hazard lights on and set up flares or reflective triangles if you have them.
  • Exchange names and insurance information, including phone numbers, with the other drivers involved.
  • Document vehicle information including year, make and model, color, license plate number, and vehicle identification number.
  • Don’t discuss fault or responsibility with the other drivers.
  • Use your phone’s camera and voice memo feature to document as much detail as possible, including impact to your car, the scene, the street names, weather and visibility, and the direction each vehicle was going before and after the incident.
  • Never share your social security number.
  • Never refuse medical help.

Police report

Immediately after the incident, a law enforcement professional will visit the scene. The first thing he or she will do is find out who is hurt and ensure they receive proper treatment. After that, they will begin to analyze the incident. This is a large piece of the puzzle when it comes to identifying who is responsible.

In collecting information for the report, the police officer will likely:

  • Interview drivers, passengers, and other witnesses, such as bystanders or occupants of nearby vehicles
  • Note the damage of each vehicle and where they are situated
  • Identify any special circumstances such as cell phone use, weather, driving under the influence, or speeding
  • Look at road debris or tire marks

Gathering the above information will help the officer determine whose negligent actions set off the chain reaction that caused the accident. Usually, it is one car that caused the accident, but occasionally two cars are to blame.

Before the officer leaves the scene, note their name, badge number, obtain their contact information, and request a copy of the accident report.

Insurance evaluation

When the insurance companies begin receiving claims, they will commence their investigations to assign each party a relative percentage of fault based on their conduct. They may solicit the help of a professional accident reconstructionist for a final determination. Here are the factors that an insurance company will consider:

  • The police report
  • The weather and other mitigating circumstances
  • Other evidence collected at the scene, such as photos of the surrounding area and property damage
  • Witness statements

How a personal injury attorney can help

If you or a loved one has been involved in a multi-car accident, you are likely confused and uncertain about what to do next. Your first and most important task is to make sure you or your family member can focus on healing and recovering from the trauma that can result in such an experience. A personal injury attorney can help you understand the next steps and ensure you receive fair representation and the compensation you deserve.

Lawyers that specialize in car accidents can interact with police and other authorities, work with a professional accident reconstructionist, identify witnesses, deal with the insurance companies, organize your legal paperwork and medical bills, and maximize your settlement, or, if necessary, represent you in court.

Trust McCoy & Sparks – Premier Personal Injury Attorneys in Central Kentucky

Long recognized as one of Central Kentucky’s best law firms for over a decade and counting, McCoy & Sparks works to help people in trouble, representing thousands of clients in Central Kentucky with a focus on providing premium service and delivering superior results. Regardless of the type of case, our goal is to develop a strategy that best serves your personal needs, then draw upon our courtroom skills to help you reach the best possible result. We start by getting to know you. Next, we will explain all your options, giving you the pros and cons of each choice so that you will be empowered to make informed decisions. You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation for you. Make the right call to 1-844-4KY-WINS for a risk-free consultation with one of our attorneys today.