A chain-reaction accident involves more than two vehicles colliding. Three or more cars may end up in a chain of rear-end collisions, or multiple cars could collide to form a pileup. Pileups are more common in situations involving wrong-way drivers, large commercial trucks, or dangerous road conditions such as ice or snow, which is something North Texans have had to experience in the last few weeks.
Chain-reaction car accidents are a lesson in physics. They are often catastrophic for the initial victim hit since the collision must occur with enough inertia to force the vehicle into other cars. As the energy from collision to collision lessens, so does the force with which the vehicles collide. Property damages and injuries will grow less serious until the kinetic energy dies out and the vehicles stop. Brad says, “While most chain-reaction accidents are the result of a single driver’s mistake or recklessness, sometimes multiple parties could share fault.”
Common Causes of Chain-Reaction Accidents
Some of the most common causes of chain-reaction collisions include the following:
Determining Fault and Liability
Due to the number of drivers and vehicles involved in chain-reaction crashes, determining fault and liability can be tricky. For instance, if a big rig rear-ends a car, the force of this first collision could be enough to push the car into the vehicle in front of it. The second collision could cause another rear-end collision between the third and fourth cars, and on and on. While the crash may involve multiple vehicles, only one party might be liable. The driver that caused the first accident will more than likely be the party held at fault for everyone’s damages.
Brad says, “But there are cases where the fault may not lie with the first driver. If driver B did something to cause driver A to crash, for example, driver B could be liable for the original collision and every related crash thereafter. Driver B could be responsible if he or she failed to replace broken taillights, for instance, making it difficult for driver A to see driver B braking.”
The best way to determine liability for a chain-reaction car accident is to utilize the skills of investigators. Accident reconstructionists and forensic experts can revisit the scene of the crash and interview witnesses to determine exactly how the crash occurred. Brad says, “If you were in a multivehicle collision, work with an experienced attorney who has the resources to help you get to the bottom of who caused your accident.”
How to File an Insurance Claim
In Texas, the driver that caused the car accident will have to pay for victims’ medical expenses, property damages, and other losses. The state’s fault-based insurance system forces victims to determine the at-fault party before filing claims. If you get into a multivehicle collision, call the police to report the accident. The police will also work in your favor to investigate the accident and help you determine fault.
“One of the most important things to remember when dealing with the insurance company is to NOT admit fault or settle too quickly. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always act in good faith, and it can be confusing to understand whether or not your insurance company is attempting to manipulate you. With their bottom line as the No. 1 priority, they make money by simply paying out less. The name of the game is deny, delay, and defend. They will do anything to avoid paying claims.”