Multi-vehicle accidents are complicated and present a unique set of challenges when determining liability. If you’ve been involved in a multi-vehicle crash, you may be facing concerns that include with which insurance company to file your claim, how you will be compensated for property damage or injuries, and whether you are liable at all for the accident. Because there are multiple cars involved in this type of accident, it is often difficult for even police officers or insurance adjusters to easily discern multi-vehicle accident liability. Each driver will have his or her own version of the story, and witnesses may be confused about what happened first. In addition, fault can be distributed among the drivers depending on the facts of the accident, further clouding decisions about liability.
What to Expect When Determining Multi-Vehicle Accident Liability
After a multi-car crash, you will probably not have immediate answers regarding liability. Expect to encounter some of the following scenarios.
- Your version of the accident may differ from someone else’s version: Each driver will have a story to tell. Don’t expect everyone to agree with you. Tell your story to any police officers on the scene and do not engage in an argument with any other drivers.
- Comparative negligence will come into play: Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut are comparative negligence states. You are able to receive reimbursement for your injuries and property damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident. For example, if you are 30 percent at fault, you can still recover 70 percent of your damages from the other at-fault driver(s). In Connecticut and Massachusetts, you may not recover damages if you were more than 50 percent liable; Rhode Island has no such threshold. Also keep in mind Massachusetts has a no-fault insurance policy that lets you collect damages from your policy regardless of fault.
- You may have difficulty getting paid: Be prepared to hire an attorney who specializes in multi-vehicle accident liability cases. An attorney will help you prove liability and organize your case to ensure the best possible outcome.
What can I do to protect myself after a multi-car accident?
There are a few things you can do to help ensure fair assignment of multi-vehicle accident liability. Remain calm and remember the following tips to protect yourself from unfair distribution of fault.
- Do not admit any type of fault at the scene of the accident. Doing so could greatly decrease your chances of a fair settlement. You can state the facts of the events leading up to the collision, but do not outwardly admit liability.
- Hire an attorney. Find a law firm that specializes in multi-car accidents and ask for a consultation. An attorney will help you build your case against other drivers, defend you against allegations of liability, and help you pursue fair compensation to which you are entitled.
- Obtain a copy of the police report and any witness statements. If there was a police officer at the scene, be sure to ask for a copy of the police report to help you prove liability.
- Ask if any other drivers involved in the accident were cited for any traffic violations. In addition, if there are any eyewitnesses to the crash, get their information at the scene and obtain any statements provided to the police. Your attorney can use this documentation to help build your case against any at-fault drivers.
Seek Help Proving Multi-Vehicle Accident Liability from Rob Levine
If you’ve been in a multi-car accident and you need legal representation, call Rob Levine, the Heavy Hitter®. Call 800-LAW-1222 to set up your free consultation.