7 Facts Everyone Should Know About Multi-Car Crashes
In a highway-bound city such as Atlanta, hardly a day goes by without news of a multi-car pileup on one of our interstates. Any car wreck is scary, but a multi-car crash has the potential to cause twice the damage—along with more serious injuries. We’ve pulled together seven things you need to know about multi-car crashes:
Multi-car crashes are complicated
Just as in any crash, law enforcement works to determine the cause of the wreck and who’s at fault. But when it comes to a 20-car pileup, even “complicated” is an understatement. All the typical assumptions—like the idea that if Driver B rear-ends Driver A, it’s probably Driver B’s fault—go out the window.
More than one driver can be at fault
After speaking to each driver involved and examining road conditions and tire marks, law enforcement may find while one driver triggered the pileup, another, or even several others, contributed to it in some way. This could mean a driver was following too closely, speeding, or driving while distracted.
Georgia is a comparative negligence state
Once law enforcement determines which drivers are at fault, they’ll assign a percentage of partial responsibility. This means while one driver may be held primarily responsible for the crash, other drivers can be held responsible at a lesser level. If you’re found to be 20 percent at fault because your taillights were out and you were rear-ended, you’re still entitled to an injury claim—just one reduced by 20 percent. Anyone found partially responsible could also face a Druid Hills car accident lawsuit from the other drivers involved.
Injuries are often more severe
With a high likelihood of both front and rear-end vehicle damage, drivers and passengers are likely to face two impacts and a greater chance of getting hurt.
It’s the minutes after the crash that count
Multi-car crashes might happen in a second, but they also might drag on for minutes as vehicles continue to collide. If you can move your car aside, do so and call 911. But if you’re stuck, don’t get out of the car or unfasten your seatbelt until it’s safe to do so. Other cars could continue to hit your car or the cars behind you.
Your account is key
For large pileups, law enforcement will evaluate tire marks, consider weather and road conditions, and take statements from the drivers involved. Make sure you can present a clear record of what happened. If you’re able to do so and the crash scene is safe, take pictures of your car and collect contact and insurance information from the other drivers involved.
You’ll need an Atlanta car accident attorney
In a multi-car pileup, it’s possible to end up seeking damages while also being sued yourself, thanks to the complications of comparative negligence. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can help you get a fair settlement from the insurance companies of the at-fault drivers while minimizing your own liability.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, you need a personal injury attorney in Decatur, GA. At Litner + Deganian, we understand the complexities of multi-car crashes and the different interests at stake. Contact us today for a free consultation.