Sorting Out a Pile-Up of Cars

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When we think of car accidents, we typically picture a single car running off the road or two drivers colliding with each other at an intersection.  In accident situations like these, legal processes and interactions with insurance companies and attorneys can be fairly straightforward.  However, a minor accident can quickly escalate if another driver is unaware of the accident scene and comes upon it quickly. In multi-car accidents, injuries tend to be more serious and damages can pile up faster than the cars.  Additionally, the determination of fault and recovery in multi-car accidents can be very complex.

Multi-car accidents can lead to an unending chain of blame.  For instance, if you are involved in an accident with another car and you are subsequently rear-ended by a third car, who is to blame for the second crash?  Is the driver at fault for the original accident also the one to blame for the subsequent crash?  Because it is not always clear who is at fault in a multi-car accident, vehicle damage will often be used to determine who or what caused the accident.

Insurance coverage for multi-car accidents can also be confusing, as multiple parties may be entitled to insurance proceeds.  It is not always clear in what proportion insurance proceeds will be distributed.  Fault and the amount of damages incurred may dictate how much each party to a multi-car accident can recover.

As with any type of car accident, if you have been involved in a multi-car accident, make sure you take steps to protect your rights in the future.  The first step will be to file a police report.  Additionally, you should exchange names and contact information with the other parties involved and any witnesses you notice.  Make sure you keep a record of the circumstances and your recollection of the accident for future reference.  You should also contact your insurance company to report the accident.