The party at fault when you get in a multi-car accident will depend on who the initial negligent driver is. A multi-car accident is one of the most complicated scenarios for proving fault. It can be hard to prove who ultimately caused the crash and seek the compensation you deserve by yourself.
You may want to hire a lawyer if you’ve been involved in a multi-car accident. They can gather crucial evidence to demonstrate how the crash affected your health and your life. They can also handle the conversations with an insurance company to seek the damages you deserve.
When One Negligent Driver Is At Fault in a Multi-Car Accident
The driver who caused the initial crash could be at fault for the accident. Some example scenarios include the following:
- A distracted driver failed to stop at a red light, causing a T-bone collision with an oncoming driver and a chain reaction of crashes.
- A driver neglected to maintain a proper following distance, causing a rear-end collision when the driver ahead of them came to a sudden stop. The front driver stopped for an animal in the road. Another (third) vehicle collided with the (second) tailgating driver.
- A drowsy truck driver veered into the next lane, causing a sideswipe collision and pushing the passenger vehicle into yet another lane. This led to a six-car pileup as drivers crashed into the truck and the passenger vehicle.
In each of these situations, one driver’s negligent action led to all other resulting collisions. Failing to stop at the red light, neglecting to maintain a proper following distance, and driving drowsy are all forms of negligence.
The drivers involved in the subsequent crashes should bear far less responsibility for the crash than the primary at-fault parties. However, comparative fault laws may leave some drivers open to liability if they bore partial responsibility for the crash.
When Several Drivers Bear Partial Responsibility For a Multi-Car Crash
Comparative negligence laws affect drivers in Georgia and South Carolina. These laws determine how partial fault affects drivers’ compensation after an accident. It may also mean that multiple drivers are deemed partially at fault in a multi-car crash.
For instance, let’s return to the driver who caused a rear-end collision because they were following the car ahead of them too closely. The driver who caused the initial crash might not be the only at-fault party in this scenario. The driver behind them may have also been tailgating, for instance.
Percentage of Negligence Will Determine How Much Each Party Recovers
In the above situation, both drivers may share partial responsibility for the crash. Let’s say that:
- Driver A is deemed to be 65% at fault
- Driver B is deemed to be 35% at fault
In states with comparative negligence laws, such as Georgia and South Carolina, Driver A may not collect any compensation. Both O.C.G.A. § 51-11-7 and S.C. Code § 15-38-15 state that a driver must be less than 50% at fault to collect damages after a crash.
However, Driver B may collect damages – but their compensation will be reduced by 35%, the degree to which they were deemed at fault.
How Do I Recover Compensation When Someone Else Caused My Multi-Car Crash?
As you can see, multi-car crashes are complex cases. You may want a lawyer’s help if you’re looking to recover compensation for your losses after an accident like this.
A lawyer can:
- Gather evidence of negligence to prove who caused the initial crash
- Determine if one or more parties may be liable for your accident
- Counter any claims that you were partially at fault
- Handle all conversations with third parties for you
- Negotiate an out-of-court settlement
- File a civil lawsuit
- Take your case to trial
Sources of Evidence That Can Prove Fault for the Crash
Your lawyer will understand how best to build a case for your compensation. They can gather evidence to prove fault for a multi-car crash through sources such as:
- Police reports
- Accident reconstruction data
- Expert witness testimony
- Traffic camera footage
- Black box data
- Witness statements
This evidence can be crucial in proving that another driver was responsible for the accident—and disproving claims that you bear fault.
Can I Sue the Negligent Driver Who Caused the Initial Accident?
Many drivers will wonder if they have the option to sue the negligent driver who caused the crash. Your lawyer can help you make this determination. Typically, you have multiple options to pursue a recovery:
- File an insurance claim through the negligent party’s policy
- File a lawsuit against the negligent party
Our team will pursue your best possible chance of financial recovery. If an out-of-court settlement is possible, we may advise this route. A lawsuit could be necessary to motivate an insurance company or negligent party to award you what you deserve. This may be the best option.
Your Could Seek Damages From a Truck Driver and Their Employer
Fault in a multi-car accident could be shared between several parties. For instance, the truck driver who caused the initial crash, the trucking company they work for, and another negligent driver involved in the accident could be found liable.
Your car accident lawyer can help you sort through all the complexities and seek compensation from anyone responsible for your injuries and damages.
Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers for a Free Case Review
Our injury lawyers can take on challenging cases and seek fair compensation available. Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers to learn how we can take the next steps for your recovery after a multi-car crash in Georgia or South Carolina.