Chain Reaction Auto Accidents: Who is at Fault?
If you or loved ones have been injured in a chain reaction car crash here in Louisiana, you should retain experienced Louisiana car accident lawyers like those at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. You and your loved ones are entitled to make insurance claims and bring lawsuits to recover money damages and obtain justice from whichever driver was at fault. An award of money damages is intended to “make whole” a victim who has been injured. In this manner, money damages compensate a victim for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, costs for physical therapy, medication, damage to their vehicle and more.
But multi-car accidents and pile-ups are legally complex in terms of determining fault. That is why you need good attorneys.
Moreover, often with chain reaction accidents, more than one party is at fault. Here in Louisiana, we have what is called a “comparative fault” statute. This means that all wrongdoers must be brought into court. And, then, the judgment rendered by the jury — or the settlements made by the insurance carriers — will be apportioned against each wrongdoer in proportion to their percentage of fault. Good personal injury lawyers will understand the need to bring each wrongdoer into the case and ensure that claims are made against each insurance policy.
Let’s examine a hypothetical example involving four vehicles. Assume that you and your loved ones are in the first automobile stopped at a red light. There is a second car behind you. Now imagine that the driver of a third car is not paying attention and does not see the stopped traffic. Car number three tries to apply the brakes, but was following too close and smashes into the second car. The force of the impact shoves the second car forward, but, fortunately, the car stops skidding before it hits your car. However, there is yet a fourth vehicle — a large SUV. The driver of the SUV is also not paying attention and does not see the stopped traffic. Like the third driver, the driver of the SUV tries to brake, but fails. The SUV smashes into the third car. This time, the whole pile surges forward and crashes into your car pushing your vehicle with great force into the intersection. It all happened too fast for you to do anything. You and your loved ones are seriously injured.
With respect to those injured in the first vehicle, in our example, most likely the fault will lie with the drivers of the third and fourth vehicles. The first impact drove the second car forward bringing it closer to the first vehicle. Some percentage fault may be assigned. However, the driver of the SUV will likely bear the highest percentage of fault since it was the second impact that caused the pile of cars to surge forward crashing into the first car.
In real life, when there is a multi-vehicle crash, determining fault may not be so simple. Various types of evidence must be gathered and examined including testimony from drivers and witnesses, photos and/or video from traffic or roadside cameras, police reports and expert testimony.
Mansfield Melancon Attorneys can Help
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. We represent people injured in multi-vehicle crashes and other types of accidents. We help people get the full compensation available under the law by identifying the responsible parties and building the strongest possible case against each and every wrongdoer. Our attorneys have had significant success, including the resolution of many cases through negotiated settlements with large insurance companies. Contact us by calling one of our offices: New Orleans at (504) 500-1108, Baton Rouge at (225) 612-0800, or Lafayette at (337) 409-0003. You can also request a free consultation by using our “Contact Us” page.