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In 2018, the state of Texas reported 1,802 fatalities resulting from multi-car collisions, the highest in the entire nation for that year.1 These types of crashes cause damage to the vehicles involved and result in extensive injury, as well as complexity in terms of liability.
Predictable weather contributes to the increased number of collisions; however, it is not just severely injured motorists who are affected by multi-vehicle accidents – even minor injuries can end up resulting in lasting damage for other drivers involved.
If you were recently involved in an accident, do not hesitate to contact our experienced Houston multi-vehicle accident lawyers today.
Whether it’s referred to as a multi-car pileup, a chain reaction crash, or a multiple vehicle accident, they all mean the same thing: an accident involving three or more vehicles. These kinds of accidents have many causes, which adds to their legal complexity.
Weather is a common cause; the failure to drive according to weather conditions. As well, failure to heed police warnings about risky road conditions can also cause multi-vehicle accidents in Houston. Areas of construction or road maintenance can reduce the available space drivers have to swerve or otherwise avoid a collision, which can cause multi-car accidents.
Drivers who neglect to put adequate distance between themselves and the vehicle ahead of them can cause these accidents. Speeding is another cause, as it prevents drivers from being able to stop quickly. Distracted and intoxicated driving are two other common causes. No matter how your accident is caused, our established Houston multi-car collision lawyers can do whatever it takes to provide you with the strong legal guidance you need going forward.
Yes, it is possible to avoid or prevent becoming involved in a pileup. Driving according to road and weather conditions and following officials’ advice to stay off the road can reduce your risk.
Leaving enough room between you and other vehicles is important at all times, but especially when visibility is low or you’re driving in areas of construction. Where these conditions exist, it can help to increase your vehicle’s distance even further.
Driving without the distraction of a cell phone, food, drowsiness, or other passengers can also help you avoid getting into an accident. Turn off your phone or pull over when you need to call, text, or email. Don’t eat while driving or tired; you can pull over in both cases. Limit the number of passengers in your vehicle or ask them to help you get everyone to your destination safely by being quieter when in your vehicle.
Unfortunately, the risk remains that even the best and most alert drivers can become involved in an accident with other vehicles, and be unable to avoid going to court. Our skilled multi-vehicle accident lawyers will come to your aid and help you make the most out of your injury claim.
One aspect of the complexity of multi-vehicle crashes is something called time-lapse, or the time between when the accident started and when your vehicle collided with another. The more time there is between these two points, says Texas law, the higher the probability you can be at fault.
The order of impact is another factor that can add complexity to these cases. Police speak with involved drivers and ask for their version of what happened. They also ask about the number of impacts felt by a particular driver. From these answers, it can be determined which vehicle made the first impact, second, third, and so on.
However, the complexity doesn’t end there. Testimony from eyewitnesses and those involved in an accident isn’t enough to determine fault. To do this effectively, specialized knowledge about reconstructing accidents is needed.
In Texas, courts are allowed to hold all of the parties involved in multi-vehicle crashes responsible for their percentage of fault via comparative fault law. When this happens, the percentage for which each person is at fault is deducted from the amount of compensation they are awarded for physical and property damage.
As well, anyone that’s found more than 50 percent responsible for a multi-vehicle crash is prohibited from receiving any compensation at all.
After being involved in this type of accident, you’ll want to make sure that you and your passengers are free of injury. Try to stay in your vehicle until you can be fairly certain that the accident is over, and then get out and check for injuries in the other vehicles.
When emergency workers arrive, be sure to get examined. Once you’ve been cleared of any immediate injury, you’ll want to try to get as much information as possible about the accident.
Start by writing down your memories of what just happened. This should include the weather and road conditions at the time and anything you may have noticed about the other drivers on the road with you at the time the accident occurred. Get as many photos as you can of the accident scene, including photos of the damage to your vehicle from multiple angles.
Next, you’ll want to ensure that the police have been called and that you’ve collected insurance information from the other drivers and anyone who may have witnessed the crash. Calling an auto accident attorney is the next step to take to ensure your rights are upheld throughout your case. We can help you recover financial compensation for damages that include lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.
If someone else caused all or part of a multi-vehicle collision, you may have gotten a call from their insurance company, which may have tried to offer you a settlement in lieu of going to court.
Don’t be fooled: They don’t want to pay you enough for your injuries and other damages. They simply want to make it as easy as possible for themselves. Usually, victims who accept these kinds of settlements are left with nothing but questions about how they’re going to continue to pay their bills once the money runs out.
It is for all of the reasons above that your best chance at compensation is with an attorney working with personal injury cases experienced in multi-vehicle accident cases. We can assist you in a thorough investigation of your case and even provide you with expert witnesses that can help prove the extent of your injuries and other aspects of your case. Not only does an expert witness provide specialized knowledge, but they can also support your case by providing clear explanations regarding evidence. Juries need this clarity to make an informed decision.
Expert witnesses can also strengthen your case by establishing not only that the other parties involved had a duty of care to you, but that they breached that duty. Finally, they can provide the element of impartiality—something that is far easier for a judge and jury to accept.
You’ll still need an attorney with enough experience to know when an expert witness will be valuable to your case’s outcome and who will be able to locate more than one witness if necessary so that those with the most experience can be asked to support your case. Contact our law firm today to get the experienced legal help you need going forward.