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What Happens When Someone Dies in a Car Accident?

This blog post describes what happens when someone dies in a car accident. If your loved one has died in an accident, the process to recover damages is different than if you were to seek compensation for your own injuries. Retaining a wrongful death attorney can help ease the burden of figuring out what comes next.

Police Investigation

In most cases, the police will investigate the scene of a fatal accident immediately. However, if no one calls the police, under state law, you must notify the police of a fatal accident.

When an officer arrives at the scene of an accident, they interview those involved in the accident—both drivers and passengers—if they can speak to the officer. The officer will also interview any witnesses to the accident.

The police report should also include a description of the damage to each vehicle involved in the accident, whether there were skid marks or damage to property, a description of what led up to the accident based on testimony from those involved and witnesses, and a description of any injuries.

Additionally, the police report will describe any traffic offenses that might have caused the accident and whether issues caused by the accident could cause injury to others, such as debris on the road, downed trees or utility poles, or the release of hazardous chemicals.

If the officer believes that the driver who caused the accident committed a crime, the officer will include that and may arrest the person who caused the accident. For example, if the driver who caused the accident was driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding excessively, or driving distracted, the officer could arrest the driver.

While a police report is not the final word on whose fault the accident was, it goes a long way toward helping investigators determine fault. Once police investigators determine what caused the accident, they can determine who was at fault.

Liability

In addition to the at-fault driver, there may be others who share liability for the accident, especially if the at-fault driver was driving a commercial vehicle and was on the clock.

Some parties who might share fault for a fatal accident include:

  • The owner of the vehicle, if the driver is not the owner and the owner knows that the driver’s behavior is often negligent.
  • The vehicle manufacturer if the vehicle malfunctioned.
  • If an aftermarket part malfunctioned and caused the accident, the aftermarket part manufacturer.
  • A governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roads, if a malfunctioning traffic device or poorly maintained road caused the accident.
  • Another driver who might not have come into contact with your vehicle if that driver caused another driver to crash into you.
  • A company owner, if an employee caused the accident while working as an employee, contractor, or freelancer.
  • In cases where an outside company maintains commercial vehicles and poor maintenance was the cause of the accident, the maintenance company could share liability.

After the Investigation

Once the police investigators complete their investigation, you might have a good idea of whom to file a wrongful death claim against. If not, a wrongful death attorney can conduct a deeper investigation. The attorney might hire private investigators or question the police investigators.

The laws vary by state. In Florida and Washington, for example, the deceased’s personal representative brings the wrongful death action against the defendants. Any compensation the representative wins in a settlement or through litigation is paid to the deceased’s estate for the benefit of their heirs.

The Personal Representative

If the decedent has a will, that document guides the probate process. The will usually names a personal representative. If the decedent dies intestate—without a will—the estate goes through the probate process according to default rules and the probate court names a personal representative.

It generally takes longer for the court to name a personal representative if the decedent did not have a will. If the decedent did have a will but the court decides that the named personal representative cannot serve in that capacity, it will name a different personal representative, which also takes time.

Since the probate process can take some time regardless of whether or not your loved one had a will, it is pertinent to start probate proceedings as soon as possible. A state law called the “statute of limitations” determines how long you have to attempt a settlement or file a lawsuit for wrongful death. Since the personal representative has to file a wrongful death action, the action cannot be started until the probate court names a personal representative or authorizes a named personal representative to act on behalf of the estate.

Recoverable Damages

In a wrongful death case, the deceased’s heirs can seek to recover compensation for:

  • Past medical expenses incurred between the time of the accident and the decedent’s death.
  • Past lost wages and benefits the decedent lost between the time of the accident and the settlement or trial award.
  • Future lost wages and benefits the deceased would likely have earned had they lived.
  • Loss of consortium, companionship, guidance, and protection.
  • Loss of services and support.
  • Emotional distress.
  • Funeral, burial, and cremation expenses.

Punitive Damages

In some cases, the heirs might also recover punitive damages. Unlike the compensatory damages described above, which make the heirs financially whole again after their loved one’s death, the court orders punitive damages when the defendant’s behavior was grossly negligent or intentional. Punitive damages are the defendant’s punishment for their behavior. The court orders punitive damages in the hopes that the defendant and others will not repeat the actions that caused your loved one’s death.

If you lost a loved one in an accident, contact a car accident lawyer for a free consultation.

The Potential Aftermath of Head Injuries From Bicycle Accidents

Wearing a helmet when you ride your bicycle could offer your best chance of reducing the risk of traumatic brain injury if you do suffer a serious accident. Unfortunately, wearing a helmet may reduce the severity of your injuries, will not eliminate them.

Traumatic brain injury can cause serious challenges that may impact your ability to work, enjoy time with friends and loved ones, and engage in the activities you usually enjoy. The symptoms can vary from person to person, depending on the site and severity of the injury.

1. Memory Loss

When most people think of traumatic brain injury, they imagine long-term memory loss: the kind of loss portrayed in many popular works of fiction. The victim usually loses his long-term memories at the beginning of the story, then slowly regains memories over time as the story progresses.

For victims with a traumatic brain injury after a bicycle accident, however, memories may never entirely return. Just as frustrating as the loss of long-term memories can be, many victims may lose normal short-term memory function.

One minute, they walk into a room with a purpose in mind, the next, they have no idea what they intended to do. They open kitchen cabinets looking for a bowl, but cannot remember where to find the bowl or even what cabinets they have already checked. They may forget what someone has said to them even moments after hearing it or struggle to put sets of instructions together. These short-term memory complications can make it difficult to function in a work environment or even to take care of normal self-care tasks.

2. Struggles With Focus and Concentration

In addition to memory challenges, many victims who suffer head injuries in bicycle accidents struggle with challenges in focus and concentration. They may have trouble keeping their minds on a specific task long enough to complete it or become distracted very easily. Many victims find it incredibly difficult to return to work in an office environment, especially if they must perform tedious tasks.

Concentration can become particularly difficult when engaged in a task they do not enjoy, but many victims even struggle to focus on activities that they do enjoy. For example, maintaining the concentration to watch a movie, read a book, or play a video game could feel impossible following a head injury.

3. Trouble With Creative Thinking Tasks

Depending on the area of the brain affected by the accident, many victims with traumatic brain injury may have trouble with creative problem-solving or other creative tasks. For example, sitting down to write a blog post or put together a marketing campaign could be more difficult than before.

Some victims may temporarily or permanently lose the ability to think creatively or to come up with unique solutions to the challenges in front of them. For many victims, this interferes significantly with their ability to take care of emergencies at work or work in a customer service environment.

4. Challenges With Emotional Regulation

When people with head injuries suffer an injury to the part of the brain that regulates emotion, they may have trouble with their emotional responses. Some people discover that they have trouble feeling emotion normally. They may feel like a wall stands between them and those normal emotions. Other people may have extreme emotional reactions: flying off the handle at a spouse or child who has performed an act that caused relatively minor inconvenience, for example.

In addition to extreme emotions or changes in emotional intensity, some people with traumatic brain injury may experience emotions seemingly out of nowhere, with no obvious stimulus. These mood swings can make it very difficult for these individuals to interact normally with others around them. They can interfere with relationships, especially if the other party fails to understand where the emotional challenges come from.

5. Increased Depression and Anxiety

Many victims with traumatic brain injury suffer from higher rates of depression and anxiety. Injuries themselves can cause problems with emotional regulation, including an impact on the chemicals that usually regulate mood. Victims can experience further difficulties associated with traumatic brain injury, making it difficult for them to move forward with their lives, increasing overall depression or anxiety levels. In extreme cases, victims who suffer from anxiety may have a hard time leaving the house or socializing, participating in normal activities, or taking care of unfamiliar tasks.

6. Personality Changes

Some people who suffer a traumatic brain injury in bicycle accidents suffer permanent personality changes related to their injuries. Sometimes, people who had relationships with them in the past feel as though they barely recognize those accident victims. The victim may no longer react the same way, have the same sense of humor, or have the same likes and dislikes. Often, this can lead to changed and even lost relationships, especially if the victim also has emotional regulation challenges.

7. Physical Changes

In addition to the cognitive and emotional symptoms associated with traumatic brain injury, some victims find themselves dealing with long-term physical effects. Head injuries can cause ringing in the ears, nausea and vomiting, or vertigo.

Most notably, head injuries can cause significant changes in sleep patterns. Some victims with head injuries sleep more often as a result of their injuries. Others suffer from ongoing insomnia, which can lead to an exacerbation of the other symptoms associated with traumatic brain injury. Bicycle accident victims may also have changes in their sensory perceptions, including the sense of taste or touch.

Even after a minor traumatic brain injury, many victims will suffer from lifelong impacts.

If you suffer a head injury in a bicycle accident due to the negligence of another party, contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney as soon after your accident as possible to gain a better understanding of how much compensation you deserve for your injuries and how to handle your claim.

How Much Will I Get for Pain and Suffering From a Car Accident?

According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are a major concern for public safety, resulting in roughly three million non-fatal injuries each year. From the fatalities and injuries that result from such crashes, the loss in productivity plus medical care costs amounts to tens of billions of dollars in costs to the individuals involved.

As a victim of a car accident, you may seek damages to ease this financial burden. Along with compensation for medical costs, damage to your vehicle, and lost income, you may also qualify for pain and suffering compensation.

While your friends and family may be quick to tell you how much you deserve, their estimates are often inaccurate. This is because even if two accidents involve similar injuries, each case is unique and only a qualified car accident attorney can properly guide you through the process of seeking compensation in your particular case.

There is no clear formula for calculating the value of pain and suffering after an accident. However, there are some factors that courts and insurance companies consider when awarding damages in car accident cases.

These include:

  • The extent of your injuries;
  • Your past and likely future medical bills; and
  • The wages you have lost as a result of the accident.

Have you been involved in a car accident that resulted in injuries along with pain and suffering? If so, you deserve compensation. Read on to learn more about compensation for pain and suffering after motor vehicle accidents.

What Is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is not just limited to the physical pain you feel after sustaining injuries. It also accounts for the mental distress you endure after an accident.

For instance, if a person is involved in an accident that results in spinal cord injuries, they may feel a lot of pain. Along with that pain, they may also suffer emotional distress due to the major change in life circumstances that comes with a severe injury. When a court or an insurance company is considering what to offer the injury victim in compensation, they will account for both types of distress.

Since attaching a dollar amount to pain and suffering is not straightforward, it is often very challenging to determine fair pain and suffering compensation. Besides, both methods can seriously undervalue and trivialize your pain and suffering, so you will want a car accident lawyer to make sure the insurance company doesn’t shortchange you.

Compensation for Pain and Suffering

Insurance providers use varying methods to calculate the value of pain and suffering. Some use a software program that considers the injuries and other factors to calculate pain and suffering.

Two common methods are:

1. Multiplier Method

In many cases, insurers will use the multiplier method to determine the value of an accident victim’s pain and suffering. The figure used for the multiplier depends on the extent of the victim’s injuries but you should always consult a lawyer to get the appropriate compensation for your injuries. Don’t let the multiplier factor sway you or confuse you after an injury.

Insurance providers are in business to make money, and generally refuse to concede to compensation demands. This is why they use software, which usually undervalues claims.

2. The “Per Diem” Method

Another method that your legal representative and insurers may use to calculate pain and suffering is the “per diem” method. This method uses a daily rate for each day that you suffer from the accident’s effects to arrive at a total value. Calculations allegedly take into account the lost wages, medical costs, and pain and suffering.

For example, if you make $25,000 annually (roughly $100 a day assuming the number of working days in a year is 250) and your injuries keep you out of work for 30 days, you will receive $3,000. If you need treatment for injuries and pain for a total of 120 days, you will receive $12,000 as compensation for pain and suffering.

Why You Should Document Pain and Suffering, Not Insurance Companies

As you now know, determining a value for pain and suffering is difficult. One thing to know is that pain is personal. Two individuals with identical injuries may experience very different levels of pain and suffering.

Such variations may account for:

  • Underlying medical conditions;
  • Age;
  • Physical fitness; and
  • Many other factors.

Since your pain is unique to you, you are the only person who can fully understand your pain and suffering. Therefore, it is your responsibility to try to convey your experience the best you can to your car accident lawyer and those who will evaluate your claim. The best way to do this is by documenting all your experiences starting from the time you sustain the injuries.

Create daily records of the pain and suffering and how it has affected your life and the lives of your loved ones. These records will serve as excellent reminders when you share your story.

Some of the details you should note include:

  • The pain and suffering you go through immediately after the accident;
  • Discomfort from medical procedures including therapy, injections, and surgical interventions;
  • Limitations in your daily life;
  • Shortcomings in pain management;
  • How pain limits you; and
  • How pain affects intimacy with your partner.

Seek Legal Counsel

Depending on the severity of your injuries, your life may never be the same. Unfortunately, in such situations, an insurance companies’ primary objective is still to pay out as little as possible.

To protect yourself and your loved ones, get the compensation you deserve. Considering the complexities of filing and negotiating an insurance claim, it is in your best interests to hire a car accident attorney to help you through this process.

Wondering how much your pain and suffering are worth? Reach out to an experienced car accident lawyer for a free consultation.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

Traffic crashes killed 857 bicyclists in the United States in one recent year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Bicyclists can suffer severe injuries or death even if the vehicle that hits them is small, due to the difference in size between a motor vehicle and a bicycle, the minimal protection available for the bicyclist, and the speed of the vehicle.

Bicycle Safety

Riding a bicycle is often dangerous, especially in highly populated urban areas. However, many people prefer to ride bicycles to work or for fun to save money on gas or to get exercise. You can mitigate some injuries by wearing personal protective equipment while riding, including helmets, knee pads, long pants and sleeves, and gloves.

When you purchase a helmet, make sure it fits properly. If it’s too loose, it won’t do much good. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute can help you choose the right helmet and learn how to find the proper fit.

Mitigating the Risk of Crashes

Losing balance or getting hit by a car are the two main reasons for bicycle crashes. According to the NHTSA, most crashes happen between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., and 75 percent of the wrecks are in urban areas.

Some tips to help you avoid crashing include:

  • Ride a bicycle that fits you. If the bike is too big, it is harder for you to control. Your feet should touch the ground as you straddle the bike.
  • Make sure you keep up with maintenance on your bike, including brakes, tires, and the chain. The seat and steering should be tight so the seat and handlebars do not wobble as you ride.
  • Wear safety equipment. Make sure you have reflectors on the bike and wear reflective clothing, especially if you are riding at night.
  • Make sure you have lights on your bike. You should at least have a headlight, and ideally, you should also have lights on the rear of the bike. If you do not have a light on the back, you should have reflectors on the back of the seat and the pedals.
  • Never ride with a passenger on a bicycle designed for one person, especially a person sitting on the handlebars.
  • Always keep both hands on the handlebars unless you are signaling to turn or stop.
  • Choose roads with less traffic, if possible.
  • Never ride on a sidewalk unless the law in your local jurisdiction allows it. If you do ride on a sidewalk, be mindful of pedestrians.
  • Always pay attention to traffic, especially if you are riding on the road with traffic. Even if you are in a bike lane, be mindful of traffic. It’s easy for a distracted driver to veer into the bike lane and hit you.
  • Obey all street signs and traffic signals. You must abide by the same rules as you would if you were driving a car.
  • Never text or talk on the phone while riding.
  • Do not listen to music while you are riding. Earphones and earplugs block out the noise of traffic. You may avoid an accident if you can hear what the traffic near you is doing.
  • Watch for turning traffic and for people pulling out of driveways, intersections, and parking lots.
  • If you are new to bicycle riding, avoid riding in traffic until you gain more experience.

Bicycle Accident Injuries

Bicycle accident victims suffer minor injuries to permanent disabilities or even death, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

Common injuries include:

    • Bruises, cuts, scrapes, and cuts. These generally heal on their own after a few days. However, open wounds can become infected.
    • Strains, sprains, pulled muscles, torn muscles, and other soft tissue injuries. In some cases, an injured bicyclist might require surgery to repair a torn muscle. They also might have to wear a cast or a sling, depending on the location of the injury. Some victims require physical therapy to repair the muscle after it heals.
    • Road rash. As with other open wounds, road rash can become infected.
    • Simple and compound fractures. These generally take six to eight weeks to heal. However, compound fractures create open wounds, which can become infected.
  • Head, neck, and shoulder injuries.
  • Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries.
  • Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions. Multiple concussions over time increase your risk of suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) later in life.
  • Internal injuries, including internal bleeding.
  • Amputation.

Even if you believe your injuries are minor, you should seek medical attention immediately after a bicycle accident. Some injury symptoms do not manifest until hours or even days after an accident.

Recovering Damages After a Bicycle Accident

If someone else caused your bicycle accident, you may be eligible to seek economic damages and non-economic damages from the at-fault party. These categories of compensation make accident victims financially whole again after an accident. Economic damages have an easily assigned monetary value while non-economic damages do not.

Economic Damages

Sometimes called special damages, economic damages can include:

  • Past and future medical expenses.
  • Past and future therapeutic expenses, including cognitive therapy, physical therapy, and psychological therapy.
  • Past and future lost wages, including future partial lost wages if the circumstances warrant.
  • Replacement or repair of destroyed or damaged personal property.
  • Modifications to your vehicle or your home to make it handicapped accessible.
  • Funeral, burial, and cremation expenses.

Non-Economic Damages

Sometimes called general damages, non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Loss of consortium.
  • Loss of companionship.
  • Loss of use of a bodily function.
  • Loss of use of a body part.
  • Amputation.
  • Disfigurement.
  • Inconvenience.

If you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, contact a bike accident lawyer for a free consultation.

How Much Does a Motorcycle Accident Cost?

Riding a motorcycle can be a great way to explore America’s vast highway system. However, because they are smaller and more difficult to see, motorcyclists are at an increased risk of being in an accident. Motorcyclists are also more likely to sustain severe injuries in an accident. While motorcycles only represent 3 percent of registered vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that motorcyclists account for up to 14 percent of traffic-related fatalities.

Motorcyclists on the road face extra risks compared to other drivers due to the reduced amount of protection that a motorcycle can offer. This means that even careful riders can face severe injuries as they do not have the added protection that a car provides, which makes accidents involving motorcycles particularly dangerous. Motorcycle riders who are injured in an accident can then suffer from severe and even permanent injuries including broken bones, road rash, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries.

The increased likelihood of severe injuries means that the costs associated with a motorcycle accident can be extremely high. An accident could leave victims with mounting medical bills, an inability to work, and concerns about how their family will get by financially during their recovery. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident and you believe that the other driver was at fault, you may find yourself wondering what the average cost of a motorcycle accident is and how you will know what you deserve for your claim. Keep reading to learn more about the average cost of motorcycle accidents and what your next steps should be moving forward after being injured in a motorcycle accident.

What Is the Cost of a Motorcycle Accident?

The first question that you may find yourself asking is how much motorcycle accidents are worth on average. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this as the costs associated with an accident can vary greatly depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Generally, motorcycle accident settlements could cost anywhere from several thousand dollars up to the million-dollar range.

The primary factor that could affect the cost of a motorcycle accident is the extent of the injuries that a rider sustained. The cost of motorcycle injuries can vary significantly. Various factors can be involved in affecting the extent of the injuries, including whether or not a rider was wearing a helmet. In fact, according to the NHTSA, the average hospitalization costs for a non-helmeted rider were at least one-third greater than for helmeted riders, with a study in California finding the average hospital costs for a non-helmeted rider to be $17,404.

What Determines the Cost of a Motorcycle Accident?

Ultimately, the costs associated with a motorcycle accident will depend on a variety of factors. Looking at some of the factors that influence the value of claims resulting from motorcycle accidents can help you to better understand what your injuries may be worth. The total cost of a motorcycle accident is determined by a variety of factors, including:

Medical Bills

As we previously mentioned, medical costs are typically the largest expense associated with motorcycle accidents, and costs are much greater if a head injury is involved. Medical costs associated with a motorcycle accident can include hospital bills, doctor visits, surgery costs, the cost of prescription medications, and ongoing treatment for severe/permanent injuries.

When trying to determine the true cost of your motorcycle accident, it is important to take into account all of the medical costs your accident has incurred and will continue to incur in the future. Long-term injuries can lead to costly medical bills, which is why you need to ensure that all of your medical costs are taken into account when attempting to value your accident.

Property Damage

Property damage will likely influence the total cost of your accident, and you should factor in any damage to your vehicle into your claim. Depending on how serious the accident was, your bike may need extensive repairs, or it may even need to be replaced. Make sure that you keep all receipts and estimates associated with repairing your motorcycle, as this evidence will be crucial when filing a claim.

Lost Income

Unfortunately, serious motorcycle accidents can leave you unable to return to work for weeks, or even months, as you recover from your accident. You may never work in the same capacity at all if the accident left you permanently disabled. Determining lost wages can be a critical factor when evaluating the cost of your accident. Depending on your line of work, and how you are paid, this may be as simple as adding up the hours you missed and multiplying it by your hourly rate.

However, determining your lost wages may be more complicated if your job is primarily commission-based. You need to estimate how much income you would have received during your time off from work, as lost wages can have a severe effect on your family’s finances, and you do not want to undervalue the cost of your accident.

Pain and Suffering

In addition to damages that can simply be calculated, such as those resulting from medical bills and property damage, the cost of your accident may also be influenced by pain and suffering damages.

Pain and suffering damages account for physical, mental, and emotional suffering that can result from a serious motorcycle accident, such as:

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Grief
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Sexual Dysfunction

Since it is much more difficult to calculate this kind of damage, it would be helpful to consult an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can help you to determine what your total losses may be worth.

Consider Consulting a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Following a Motorcycle Accident

Ultimately, a variety of factors go into determining the costs associated with a motorcycle accident. This can make it critical that you work with a motorcycle accident attorney, as they could help you determine the value of your claim. Do not handle a motorcycle accident claim on your own, as you may undervalue the costs associated with your accident.

Contact an attorney today to find out how you should proceed following a motorcycle accident.

3-Car Collisions: Who Pays?

According to a Statista report, 280 million vehicles drive on American roads. With the unfortunate prevalence of dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding and drunk driving, it’s no surprise that thousands of car accidents take place each year. Data from the Statista report indicates that in one recent year, 12 million vehicles were in crashes.

After an accident, accident victims often must seek medical care for their injuries. After that comes the process of determining the at-fault party for insurance purposes. Ordinarily, this process is complicated as there are many things to consider. It becomes even worse when the crash involved multiple vehicles.

Chain reaction accidents occur when there is a series of rear-end accidents involving three or more vehicles. Before anyone can file an insurance claim, they must determine which party was responsible for the accident.

So, if you were hit by a vehicle that was rear-ended by another, who’s at fault? Read on to find out more about three car collisions and who is responsible.

Determining Who Is to Blame for a Multiple Car Collision

While driving, you are legally required to leave a safe following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This space can give you the time to avoid an accident in case something unexpected arises and the car ahead of you slows down suddenly.

This is the rule mainly used to assess fault in three-car chain-reaction accidents. Regardless of other circumstances, if a driver did not maintain a safe following distance from the car in front of them, they have some degree of responsibility for the accident.

When it comes to car accident claims, the party responsible for the collision will bear liability to the others in the accident. The same rule applies to multiple car collisions. Even if multiple parties sustain damage to their vehicles and injuries, the party primarily responsible for the crash will be by far the most liability

For instance, take a case where there’s a collision involving drivers X, Y, and Z. Assume that driver X initiates the collision by ramming into the back of driver Y’s car while driver Y is stopped at a red light, and driver Y then rear-ends driver Z due to the force of the initial impact. In this case, there is no direct contact between driver X and driver Z.

Nevertheless, driver X is still responsible for the injuries driver Z sustained and damages to driver Z’s vehicle, as they result from the chain reaction. However, determining the cause of the accident is not always so straight forward. An investigation will be necessary to assess all the factors.

The Last Driver Is Not Always at Fault

The unforeseen can occur at any time. Human error triggers most such incidents. In some cases, accidents happen when one car (Y) cuts in front of the other (X) and immediately slows down. This then causes X to ram into Y, who then rams into Z in front of them.

In this case, the chain reaction sequence may be the same, but the driver at fault may not be the one at the rear of the chain. Since driver Y is the one who cut in front of driver X, they’re likely at fault for the damages and injuries everyone else sustained in the accident.

More than One Driver Can Be Legally Liable

When determining legal liability, investigators try to figure out who is ultimately responsible for causing the accident. However, it does not necessarily have to be just one driver. Consider the following scenario. While driving, a car cuts in front of you and immediately slows down, causing you to rear-end them.

Before you can recover from the first crash, another car hits you from behind. However, the second crash is not due to the first one. The driver behind you had enough time to react to the first crash, but they were texting. In this case, the drivers in front of you and behind you will be liable.

Based on the percentage of fault, the other divers each share some degree of fault and owe you for your damages and injuries. This means you can receive partial compensation from both of their insurance companies to add up to your full damages.

Vehicle Malfunction

In some cases, the cause of an accident is vehicle malfunction. Considering that vehicles travel at high speeds, the driver may not have enough time to react if a part malfunctions. This can cause multiple cars to crash into one another.

In such cases, the vehicle parts manufacturer may be liable for the accident. Barring any other contributing causes, all the drivers involved are victims and can sue the parts manufacturer.

What to Do After a 3-Car Accident

As with all motor vehicle accidents, the first thing that you should do, if you are able, is to move your car to a safe place. This is to avoid putting other drivers at risk by leaving disabled vehicles in the roadway. Attend to your injuries and check on your passengers and the passengers in the other vehicles.

If you can safely move around the scene of the accident, you should also:

  • Talk to eyewitnesses and take down their contact information.
  • Scan the surrounding buildings for CCTV cameras and note if you see any.
  • Take photographs of the scene and the damage to each vehicle.

Once you have received the necessary medical treatments, call your insurance company to report the accident.

Hire a Car Accident Attorney

After a car accident, every party is generally quick to find fault in the other drivers. Since it may not be easy to identify who is at fault, you may receive blame even if you are a victim. This is why it is essential to get in touch with an experienced car accident attorney who can demonstrate your innocence and help you get compensation.

Always Seek Help

Even if there is no question about who is responsible for the accident, hiring a car accident lawyer is advisable. In addition to proving your innocence, they can offer a lot of invaluable support. Your attorney will handle the insurance claim or lawsuit seeking to recover damages. This will allow you to focus on recovering from the accident.

Are you wondering what you need to do to seek compensation for your car accident injuries? Contact a car accident attorney near you today for a free consultation.