Who’s at fault in a multiple vehicle collision?
Multiple vehicle car accidents can be one of the most dangerous collisions an individual can experience. These types of collisions can cause severe injuries to the parties involved. Some of the most common causes of multiple car accidents come from distracted drivers. Distracted drivers consist of people using their cell phone while driving, eating, or focusing their attention to the backseat passengers. Speeding is another well-known cause. People who are in a rush to get to another location tend to accelerate their speed as they drive reducing their ability to stop in time for traffic. Another common cause is weather. Inclement weather, such as fog or heavy rain cause drivers to have poor visibility on the roads. When an accident occurs due to one of these common causes the parties involved immediately question who’s at fault for the collision.
The question of who’s at fault is not always easily answered. In these situations, the parties involved tend to point the finger at each other. When liability is disputed, there are various factors to be taken into consideration.
1. The investigating officer(s) at the scene will take note of how the accident happened by creating an accident report. The police report will have detailed information of the parties involved and usually a short narrative of how the accident happened. This report will help attorneys and insurance adjusters involved develop their arguments or theories for the resolution of the claim. The Texas Transportation Code §550.062 states that officers are required to file a report within 10 days of accidents resulting in death, injury or property damage exceeding $1,000 in damages. Once the 10 day time frame has past, it is encouraged for the injured party to get a police report for their record.
2. If possible, police officers will approach non-involved parties to get a witness statement. Witness statements can be helpful to have for a lawsuit because statements can help prove who caused the accident, it can defend the party from certain allegations, and it may validate the level of impact that caused the injuries. Witnesses who were not involved in the accident are more likely to give an unbiased statement because they don’t have an interest at stake. However, it is important to note witness statements have the potential to hurt a case as well.
3. Photographs are crucial to have for multiple collision accidents. Pictures can provide detailed depictions of how badly the cars were damaged and what area of the car received the most impact. Not only is it helpful to have pictures of the cars, but of the roadways and surroundings where the scene was located. These type of pictures can help attorneys develop an angle for a hearing or a deposition.
The three factors above are some of the many factors taken into consideration for finding liability. In some situations, vehicle collisions can lead to a comparative fault claim, which means multiple people can be responsible for the accident. As you may notice, these types of lawsuits can be challenging to handle. Eric Reyes and his firm have 25+ years of experience handling complex matters like these. He is a Texas Board Certified attorney in Personal Injury Trial Law and Civil Law, so he is well equipped to help parties find resolution for their case.