Liability in Multi-vehicle Accidents
Car accidents can easily result in thousands of dollars in damages. Because of the financial repercussions, few drivers are willing to admit fault when a crash occurs. Instead, liability is often determined by insurance investigators, accident recreationists, or car accident lawyers. Establishing fault for a crash involving two vehicles is one thing, but matters can get complex when multiple cars are involved.
Determining liability in a multi-vehicle accident is essential, because these types of crashes tend to result in even greater losses. Car accident lawyer Hardin R. Ramey works with accident victims from Dallas, TX, and surrounding areas to prove liability so that appropriate damages can be awarded.
Negligence and Liability
When determining liability for a car accident investigators are establishing which party’s negligence caused the collision. Liability is based on the concept that all drivers have a “duty of care” to others. That is to say, each driver is responsible for practicing care and safety so that they do not cause harm to others. When someone neglects that duty of care and an accident occurs, they can be found liable for resulting damages.
What Was the First Point of Contact?
To determine liability for a multi-vehicle crash, one of the first questions that needs to be answered is “what was the first point of contact?” When three or more vehicles are involved in an accident, it is highly unlikely that they all strike each other at once. Usually, two vehicles make contact and that initial crash sets off a chain of events that causes surrounding vehicles to be involved in the accident. Unless other errors were made that contributed to the multi-vehicle crash, it is likely that the person or party responsible for the first point of contact will be assigned liable for the entirety of accident damages, or at least a good portion of them.
Evidence Used to Establish Liability
Establishing liability for a multi-vehicle accident is complex since multiple parties are involved and so many factors can play a role in the crash. It is not unusual for the people involved in the crash to be unsure of exactly what caused it, or even who was struck first. Evidence offers the best way for our legal team to recreate a multi-vehicle crash and establish liability for our Dallas clients. Sources of evidence in a multi-vehicle crash can include:
- Testimony from involved drivers
- Testimony from accident witnesses
- Police reports
- Photographs from the scene of the accident
- Conditions at the scene of the accident (i.e. skid marks, broken guardrails, traffic signs/signals, etc.)
Can Liability Be Shared?
It is important for drivers to realize that more than one party can share liability for a car accident, and that it is especially common when multiple vehicles and parties are involved in a crash. If a driver contributes to an accident in any way, they can be assigned partial liability. However, even if a driver shares liability for a multi-vehicle accident, they may still be due compensation for damages. As long as a driver is assigned less than 50 percent liability for a crash, they may be able to recover damages from a driver who is assigned the majority of accident fault.
Get in Touch
Following a multi-vehicle accident, lawyer Hardin R. Ramey works alongside his team to gather evidence and establish liability so that injury victims can pursue compensation for their losses. To find out how our legal team can be of assistance to you after a crash, send us a message online, or call our Dallas law firm at (972) 636-4578.