Injuries From Multiple Vehicle Accidents
In late March of this year, an accident that occurred on the 10-fwy in the City of Claremont involved a total of 15 vehicles. The multi-vehicle accident left one person dead, two other individuals with serious injuries and 9 others with less-severe injuries. It was reported that the unsafe driving speeds perpetuated by a 30-year-old driver caused the accident.
Sadly, this is just one example of the countless multi-vehicle accidents that occur each year. It is important to recognize that every motor vehicle accident, whether minor or not, can leave victims feeling stressed, frightened, and injured. When an auto accident happens, all auto accident victims have the legal right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the party that caused the accident. When it comes to multi-vehicle accidents, however, identifying the responsible party can be highly complex.
For some multi-vehicle collisions, identifying the perpetrator can be easy to determine, especially when a police officer has responded to the scene and has helped in pinpointing how the accident happened. In other cases, especially those involving more than three vehicles, it can be very difficult to identify a liable party. This is because there could be multiple drivers that could have played a key role in causing the accident.
Filing a personal injury claim can become even more complex when there is more than one possible responsible party outside the scope of the drivers involved. This article will highlight key factors that can help an auto accident victim determine who was responsible for the multi-vehicle accident that caused his or her injuries.
Determining Liability in a Multiple Vehicle Accident
In a multiple vehicle accident, it can be very difficult to identify the responsible party. The following are potential parties that could be held liable after an accident.
Defective Automobile Parts – When a defective auto part results in an auto accident, victims can seek compensation for their injuries and losses. A defective auto part can be the result of a design defect, failure to warn, or a manufacturing defect.
When a defective auto part caused the collision, it is possible to have multiple defendants liable for the victim’s losses. For instance, the defective auto part manufacturer or the product’s designer could each be held accountable for the victim’s losses. Depending on the source of defect, the victim will be able to receive financial compensation from the liable party if certain conditions are met.
Under strict liability laws, the victim will need to demonstrate that the defective auto part caused the multi-vehicle accident and that this ultimately caused the victim’s injuries.
Negligent Motorists – It is important to remember that in the state of California all motor vehicle operators have a duty to use reasonable care while driving. Reasonable care involves following at a safe distance and leaving adequate space between vehicles. Not all cases of multiple vehicle accidents, however, are due entirely to the fault of a single driver driver. In some cases, the negligence of multiple drivers is responsible for an accident.
In cases of negligence, an accident victim is often required to prove that the other vehicle operator had a duty of care, breached this duty, and that as a result of this breach, there were damages that occurred. Establishing each party’s role in an accident can be particularly complicated and involves reports by accident investigation experts, eyewitnesses, and law enforcement.
Based on California’s comparative fault laws, the liability of every party will be divided based on each party’s percentage of responsibility in causing the accident.
Government Agencies – Under certain, and strict situations, government agencies can be held accountable for causing a multi-vehicle accident. Filing a personal injury claim against a government agency, however, can be very difficult. The State of California has established strict rules with respect to what agencies can be sued and under what conditions. Some of the most notable conditions to note when seeking to file a claim against a government agency involve the following: Petitioners only have 6 months to file the claim. This would allow the agency the opportunity to remedy the hazardous condition before anybody else gets injured, Petitioners will need to submit the claim under the agency that is suspected to be responsible for the accident, Auto accident victims are restricted from seeking non-economic forms of compensation, Certain government agencies are completely immune from being sued.
Common Causes of Multiple Vehicle Accidents
Multiple vehicle accidents are some of the deadliest forms of auto accidents. Many cases involve catastrophic bodily injuries or even the death of those involved. There are many situations that could lead to a multi vehicle accident. Some of the most common causes of multiple vehicle accidents include:
Distracted Driving: There are a number of factors that can distract a driver from safely operating a motor vehicle. Some examples of distractions include cell phones, music that is too loud, too many other people being in the vehicle, applying makeup, or eating while driving.
Driving While Intoxicated: A significant number of multiple motor vehicle accidents are caused by drivers who operate vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Excessive Speed: A large number of auto accidents are usually caused by drivers who are speeding.
Fatigue or Falling Asleep at the Wheel: Falling asleep at the wheel for even a few seconds has the potential to cause a multiple vehicle accident.
Law Enforcement Chases: There are many multiple vehicle accidents that are caused by motorists who attempt to flee from law enforcement. Many cases involve motorists who collide with other vehicles, lose control of their vehicles, or enter the opposing lane of traffic.
Weather: Poor visibility caused by adverse weather conditions like fog and rain can result in motor vehicle operators losing control.
Speak with a Rancho Cucamonga Car and Auto Accident Attorney
It is important to remember that in accordance with the California statute of limitations, a person only has two years from the date of a motor vehicle accident to initiate a claim. As a result, a victim should immediately contact legal counsel after an accident. If you or a loved one have experienced serious injuries due to an accident, it is important to contact a seasoned attorney. Justin H. King, at the Law Office of Justin H. King represents victims in Rancho Cucamonga and the entire Inland Empire who fell victim to serious auto and car accidents. You can learn more about him on here attorney profile page here. To learn more about Justin and his auto and car accident personal injury defense, visit his auto accident page by clicking here.