One of the most unfortunate accidents you can experience in a motor vehicle is a pile-up or multi-car crash.
A pile-up or multi-car accident can be especially dangerous given the number of vehicles involved and multiple points of collision, leading to serious injury or even death.
Read on to learn common causes of pile-up accidents, how fault is determined, and how an attorney from our firm can help. Your local Athens car accident lawyer is standing by to answer questions. Call (706) 995-7547 now.
Multi-Car Accidents Are Extremely Dangerous
When multiple objects that weigh many thousands of pounds crash into one another, the danger is substantial.
In a recent 10-car pile-up accident in Atlanta, six people ended up in the hospital. The accident was caused by a single driver who hit multiple other vehicles, including three parked cars. They then blocked the road and caused other cars to crash into the wreckage of the original accident.
In another pile-up accident in Richmond Hill, an injured driver had to be extracted from their car after a five-car pile-up wreck on I95 at exit 87 NB. According to officials, a driver was under the influence and spun out on the interstate.
The injured person had to be extracted from the vehicle and transported to the hospital, while the driver who caused the accident was charged with a DUI, failure to maintain lane, traveling too fast for road conditions, and leaving the scene of the accident.
A recent fatal accident in Albany occurred when a tractor-trailer rear-ended a car, forcing it first into the center barrier, then across into the opposite lane. The two vehicles traveled into the far lane and the tractor-trailer sandwiched the car between the trailer and the wall.
Ultimately, a passenger and the driver of the tractor-trailer died and the driver of the car was severely burned when the fuel tank of the tractor-trailer was punctured in the accident.
When you are injured or lose a loved one in a pile-up accident, you could be entitled to compensation. For your injuries, you are entitled to short- and long-term costs related to your medical expenses as well as any impact your injuries have on your ability to work and support your family.
If you have lost a loved one in a multi-car accident, you could be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Speaking with a local Athens car accident lawyer will provide you with an opportunity to explore what options might be available given the facts of your accident.
Common Causes of Pile-Up Crashes
While it might seem like there was nothing you could do to stop the accident, it had to begin somewhere. Determining the cause of the accident will help your Athens car accident lawyer identify the party or parties responsible for your compensation.
At the time of the accident, you were focusing on the road and doing your best to drive safely, and you are not expected to have been carefully watching what other drivers were doing.
Evidence is how you determine the cause of an accident, and your experienced car accident attorney knows how to collect the evidence you need to prove your full damages, both present and future.
Speeding is a form of aggressive driving that leads to a great many accidents and fatalities on the road. Aggressive driving can include speeding in reaction to the driving of another, cutting other drivers off, trying to run other drivers off the road, or simply exceeding the speed limit.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study of more than 10,000 reported incidents of road rage and found that it increased substantially from year to year.
When other drivers are speeding, they are violating the rules of the road. If a driver is engaging in illegal activity and causes an accident, they will be responsible for the damage.
Knowing whether another driver was speeding or not can be difficult to determine, but your attorney will collect whatever evidence possible to identify the cause of your pile-up accident.
The practice of tailgating is when a vehicle is very close to the rear of another vehicle. This can be a form of aggressive driving meant to intimidate the other driver, or can simply be a form of unsafe driving.
Without enough room between vehicles, it is not possible to safely stop in reaction to a condition on the road without colliding with the vehicle ahead.
When a driver is engaging in drowsy driving, they have made the irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel while their driving abilities are impaired due to fatigue and drowsiness.
Common causes of drowsy driving can be insufficient time off between shifts at work, late nights studying or partying, having a young child at home, or simply streaming through too many shows on Netflix the night before.
Companies that employ drivers of large trucks and buses are required to give their employees enough time off between shifts to be adequately rested, as large trucks and buses are especially dangerous on the road. Knowing whether or not the other drivers involved in your multi-car accident were engaging in drowsy driving can be difficult if not impossible for you to prove at the time of the accident.
The way to determine this is by collecting evidence, which your multi-car crash attorney from Athens Car Accident Lawyers handles for you.
Drunk or Intoxicated Driving
All drunk driving accidents are preventable, as a driver must make the decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated by alcohol.
When a driver is intoxicated, they are unable to react to changes on the road and may make poor or even fatal decisions. Drunk driving kills thousands of drivers on the road each year, and if a drunk driver caused your pile-up accident you are entitled to compensation for your damages.
Determining Fault in a Multi-Vehicle Crash
When you are injured in an accident caused by someone or something else, whether that is another driver’s intoxicated or impaired driving, or the unavoidable result of a pile-up, you could be entitled to compensation.
Determining fault in a multi-vehicle crash will help your Athens car accident attorney identify the party responsible for your damages.
1. Who caused the initial collision?
Knowing who caused the initial collision helps to identify the following chain of events that led to your accident. The cause of the initial collision might be the impaired driving of an individual driver, someone who changed lanes without signaling, or because someone was speeding and caused an accident.
Collecting witness statements and other evidence using legal instruments like depositions and interrogatories is how to determine the events that led to your accident and injuries.
2. Was anyone switching lanes at the moment of impact?
When a driver properly signals and begins to change lanes, other drivers have a responsibility to provide them with room to make the change.
Due to distracted or aggressive driving, this does not always happen, and accidents often occur while one driver is switching lanes. On a multi-lane road, an accident between lanes is likely to cause a pile-up accident that can lead to multiple injuries.
3. Was anyone driving while distracted or intoxicated?
One of the most common causes of accidents on the road today is distracted driving, which is engaging in any activity while driving that takes your attention off the road. Common distracted driving activities include talking or texting while driving, fiddling with the radio or in-dash display, eating while driving, or even talking to passengers.
Each day in the United States, nine people are killed in crashes that involve a distracted driver. The practice is being targeted by law enforcement and government agencies like the CDC given the scope of the problem.
Georgia’s Modified Comparative Fault Law
Georgia has a specific type of comparative negligence statute that is followed, titled “modified comparative negligence.” This is a legal term that means that the plaintiff, the person who has filed a lawsuit after being injured, is unable to recover for their injuries if they are found to be 50% or more at fault for their own injuries. If you are found to be 49% at fault, you can recover. If you’re 51% at fault, you cannot.
Therefore, if the court determines that you are at fault more than the other party in the accident, or more than half when there are multiple parties, you will have to cover all the costs associated with your injuries yourself.
The modified comparative fault law in Georgia means that it is especially important to determine the cause of the accident so that you are able to collect compensation for your damages and don’t have to pay for them out-of-pocket.
The costs to you and your family can be significant from an injury after a multi-car accident, and all injured parties in the accident will be trying to assign fault to other parties so they can also be compensated.
When there is a multi-car accident, there will be multiple lawyers and parties working to determine who is the cause of the accident. If you do not have an attorney on your side, you will be at a disadvantage, and the other drivers’ attorneys and insurance companies will take advantage of this to shift fault against you so that you cannot recover damages.
Working with an Athens car accident attorney will ensure that your rights are protected and you collect the damages you are entitled to.
Injured in a pile-up crash? Call us.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pile-up crash, connecting with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident will help to ensure that you recover the full damages that you are entitled to.
You can only collect on damages that you can prove, and your Athens car accident attorney helps you to schedule the follow-up appointments with medical and occupational experts to calculate the full costs associated with your injuries.
A medical expert reviews your injuries to determine the present and future medical needs that they will require. The occupational expert takes the information from the medical expert and determines the impact of your injuries on your ability to earn. Calculating then demanding your damages can be complex, but your Athens personal injury lawyer handles your case every step of the way.
For a risk-free, cost-free consultation on your multi-car accident, connect with Athens Car Accident Lawyers at (706) 995-7547.