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How Do You Determine Who is At Fault in a Multi-Car Accident?
Determining fault in a two-car accident can either be complicated or straightforward, depending on the specifics. Even if the situation seems to be pretty obvious, there are still two versions of the same story that need to be interpreted. Multi-car collisions, like a multi-vehicle pile-up or a chain-reaction car accident, are even worse. You may need to plead your case to prove that you are not the victim at fault. Below is some guidance on determining fault and whether you should contact a vehicle accident lawyer in Houston, TX for your case.
What Kinds of Multi-Car Accidents are There?
First, let’s review car crash types you might encounter.
- Two-car accidents. These are usually easy to determine fault by examining the position of both cars, their condition, and any patterns caused by skid marks. These are most commonly caused by treacherous weather, negligent driving, and unsafe driving.
- Chain-reaction accidents. These are collisions when one car hits another from behind, causing the car in front to hit the one ahead. This can potentially involve three or more cars and most commonly happen in busy areas that are heavy with traffic.
- Multi-vehicle pileups. A pileup always involves one initial car wreck, which results in several other vehicles hitting the original accident and creating a “pile.” These are often caused by harsh weather conditions, poor visibility or lighting, and speeding.
Determining Fault in a Car Wreck
Several factors go into determining both fault and degrees of fault for multi-car accidents.
- Time Lapse. First, the amount of time between accidents is crucial. If the initial accident before a pile-up occurred only a few seconds before the rest of the pile-up, any additional accident will be considered part of the initial one. If there is a significant time-lapse between the two, however, it could be considered a whole new accident with another driver at fault.
- Stopping Fast. If you come to a sudden stop by breaking fast, you could be held responsible. For example, if you are rear-ended, that doesn’t automatically mean the driver behind you is at fault. If your sudden stop caused the accident, then you will be considered at fault.
- Driver Testimony. One of the first things that an attorney does when determining fault in a car accident is to call each driver to get their side of the story, placing blame away from their client.
What Should I Do if I’m Involved in a Multi-Vehicle Accident?
First, it’s important to remain calm. All you need to do is remember the following steps:
- Assess our injuries and, if needed, call yourself an ambulance.
- Call the police to report the accident and request a police report.
- Photograph the scene for evidence.
- Move away from the accident and to somewhere safe to avoid being hit again.
- Refrain from giving statements to insurance agents before speaking with a lawyer.
- Report the accident to your own insurance company.
- Contact a top rated Houston commercial truck injury law firm specializing in auto accidents to get advice.
Call One of the Best Car Accident Lawyers in Houston
If you’ve recently been in a multi-car accident and need help, contact The Stephens Law Firm today. We know that car accidents are stressful on many levels, so you can be sure that we will help you get your desired result. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.
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