What If There Were Multiple People at Fault for My Car Accident?
Some car accident cases are straightforward, such as when only two vehicles are involved and liability is clear. However, when more than two vehicles are involved, the claim is almost always more complicated. It is often more difficult to determine how the accident was caused and who is legally responsible for damages.
The experienced auto accident lawyers in New Jersey at the Lynch Law Firm, PC may be able to help you during this confusing time. If you have a case, we can investigate to determine which parties are at fault and communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf. We provide a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss what happened in your accident.
Accidents with Multiple At-Fault Parties
There are several different types of multi-vehicle collisions, such as:
- Rear-end accidents
- Head-on accidents
- T-bone accidents
- Pile-up accidents
- Interstate accidents
- Chain reaction accidents
Certain factors are more likely to contribute to a multi-car accident, such as:
- Speeding – Many highway accidents occur at high speed, so drivers may have less time to stop if they observe a hazard. If there is a collision between one car and another, other drivers may similarly not have time to stop to avoid a multi-car pileup.
- Following too closely – Multi-vehicle accidents often occur during rush hour when traffic is congested. When there is not enough space between vehicles, one may run into the back of another and a pile-up may occur.
- Bad weather conditions – Bad weather conditions like ice and snow can make vehicles slip and slide on roads. Additionally, inclement weather can cause poor visibility, which may result in collisions.
- Construction zones – Drivers in construction zones may not be paying attention or may be speeding and ignoring warnings about speeding fines or to slow down when workers are present.
In many of these accidents, the carelessness of one or more drivers is ultimately responsible for causing the accident.
Determining Who Is at Fault
It is often difficult to prove fault in multi-vehicle accidents because many factors may be involved. Your personal injury lawyer and the insurance companies involved may consider several factors when determining fault, such as:
- Whether any drivers were violating traffic laws at the time of the accident
- Whether law enforcement gave any of the driver’s tickets
- The location of the accident
- Weather and road conditions at the time of the accident
- The location of the vehicles’ damages
- The information recorded in the accident report
- Electronic data
- Witness statements
- The actions of the drivers
In a rear-end accident, the driver in the back is typically the one at fault for failing to leave enough space between both vehicles. In a left-turn accident, the driver of the vehicle that was turning is probably at fault for violating right-of-way laws. However, there are exceptions to these kinds of general rules.
New Jersey Law on Comparative Negligence
New Jersey’s comparative negligence law may affect your claim if multiple vehicles were involved. Under this modified comparative fault system, an injured person may not recover compensation if his or her negligence was greater than that of the defendant.
If the plaintiff is less than 50 percent at fault for the accident, he or she can pursue compensation for the damages he or she suffered, but his or her award will be diminished by the percentage of his or her own negligence.
Contact the Lynch Law Firm, PC for More Information
If you were involved in a multi-vehicle accident, do not hesitate to contact an experienced lawyer for help with your claim.
The Lynch Law Firm, PC provides a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced injury lawyer who can explain the insurance claims process and how liability may impact the value of your damages.
Contact us today to learn how we may be able to help you. (800) 518-0508