Determining Fault in a Multi-car Crash By Sean Burke on August 19, 2021

car accidentWhen a collision occurs it often sets off a chain of events that leads to damages for nearby vehicles, drivers, and passengers. Determining fault in multi-car crashes tends to be complex, because there are so many factors involved. However, it is important to establish liability so that responsible drivers can be held accountable for accident losses.

Car accident lawyers Sean M. Burke and Jason N. Argos have worked with numerous accident victims in the Irvine, CA, area. They have experience sorting out the details of a multi-vehicle crash to determine what caused the collision and who is responsible for compensating injury victims for their losses.

Fault in a Three-car Crash

Three-car accidents are nearly always the result of a rear end collision. If one driver crashes into the back of another vehicle, the force may be great enough to push that vehicle into the one in front of them. In these types of three-car collisions, the driver who causes the initial impact is nearly always found to be at-fault for all accident damages. This means that the driver of the trailing vehicle would be responsible for the damages to all three vehicles (including their own), as well as any losses related to accident injuries.

Fault in a Multi-vehicle Crash

When an accident results in a multi-car crash, determining fault is not as straightforward. It is still important to consider who was responsible for causing the initial impact, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be found liable for all subsequent collisions. While it is possible for one driver to be assigned sole liability for a multi-car crash, it can also be shared by multiple parties. To determine fault it is essential to recreate all aspects of the pile-up, and determine how many persons (or parties) contributed to the accident.

Evidence Used to Prove Fault for a Multi-car Crash

When our Irvine clients have been involved in a multi-car crash, our lawyers gather as much evidence as possible to recreate the collision in its entirety, from the first impact to the last. If more than one driver practiced reckless or negligent driving that contributed to the accident, they may share fault for the crash. Evidence that can be vital in proving fault for a multi-car crash includes:

  • Eyewitness statements
  • Photographs of the accident scene
  • Video of the accident
  • Police reports
  • Reports from crash recreation specialists

What Happens if Fault Is Shared?

If more than one person shares liability for a multi-car crash, accident victims may have to pursue multiple parties to obtain compensation for accident damages. Our lawyers assist our Irvine clients in going after appropriate parties so that they can collect the full extent of financial compensation they are due.

Drivers often wonder about pursuing accident damages if they themselves share partial liability for a multi-car crash. The state of California follows pure comparative negligence law. This law allows drivers to pursue financial compensation for accident damages, as long as they are not found to be 50 percent or more liable for the collision. However, any financial recovery would be reduced by the driver’s degree of fault. For instance, if a driver is rewarded $10,000, but they are 30 percent at-fault for the accident, their actual financial recovery would be $7,000 (or $10,000 minus 30 percent).

Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers

If you have been involved in a multi-car crash, car accident lawyers Sean M. Burke and Jason N. Argos can gather the evidence necessary to prove liability so that you can pursue whatever financial compensation you are due. To discuss the details of your crash with our legal team, send us a message online or call us at (949) 644-3434.

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