Determining who is to blame for a car accident is typically a top priority for injured victims. People want to know if someone was negligent or reckless, or if the accident was just a fluke. Figuring out what happened can help people assess their injuries, property damage and legal options.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to figure out who or what specifically caused an accident. And in many cases, multiple factors played a role in the crash. This can be especially true when one accident triggers others in a chain reaction.
Tracking down the causes
After any multi-vehicle accident, it is crucial for all parties involved to stop. Someone should call the police who can come and make a report. Parties should also take pictures of the scene, the property damage, and any other details of the people or conditions involved.
These records can reveal details that allow authorities to recreate the accident, determine the cause and assign liability.
For instance, witnesses might report that a car was speeding and ran a red light when it crashed into a second vehicle. Brake patterns and points of contact could show that a third car didn’t slow down or swerve to avoid the initial crash, and perhaps cellphone records confirm that a fourth driver was texting at the time he or she crashed into the other vehicles.
Once you know who and what was involved in a crash like this one, you can work with an attorney to pursue compensation from negligent parties.
After a chain-reaction accident, there may be several negligent parties; your own negligence may have contributed to the crash, as well. These elements can affect your claim in a couple of important ways.
First, they mean that there can be multiple parties who owe you money for damages, from individual drivers to defective brake manufacturers.
Further, even if you contributed to the crash, Florida laws allow you to file a claim against the other negligent parties. However, the courts will reduce any award you receive in proportion to the percentage of your negligence.
Determining cause and liability after a chain-reaction crash is complicated, but it is crucial for victims who wish to pursue legal action after an accident.