Chain Reaction Car Accidents
If you or someone you know has been hurt in a chain reaction car crash, you may have legal options and a way to recover compensation. In any situation where two or more cars collide, the accident can be described as a “multi-car accident” or a “chain reaction car accident.” The fact that multiple drivers are involved can make these types of cases extremely complicated. Dedicated Elkins car accident attorney Dorwin J. Wolfe has extensive experience in representing victims who were injured in multi-vehicle wrecks. We proudly serve clients from Morgantown, Fairmont, and throughout the state.Seeking Compensation After Multi-Vehicle Collisions
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash caution survey, approximately 57.2 percent of accidents involve two or more vehicles. The NHTSA also reports that around 40 percent of all car accident fatalities arise from multi-vehicle wrecks. These statistics show that multi-car pileups are more common and more dangerous than you may think.
There are many reasons that these chain reaction car accidents can occur, including poor visibility, slippery roads, tailgating drivers, swerving drivers, rubbernecking drivers, and excessive speeding. Collisions involving multiple vehicles can cause injuries to drivers and passengers in every vehicle involved that can be severe and permanent.
An accident victim can file a negligence lawsuit against the at-fault driver to seek compensation for his or her injuries. In general, negligence is the failure to take proper care when doing something. To win on this claim, the victim must prove:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty to drive carefully;
- The defendant breached this duty by driving in a careless manner;
- The defendant’s breach caused the accident that injured the victim; and
- The victim suffered damages as a result of the injuries.
The duty of care referenced above creates an obligation for all West Virginia drivers to exercise reasonable care when they are operating their vehicles. Reasonable care is defined as acting as a reasonably prudent person would in the same or similar circumstances. In some cases, the defendant may argue that the victim’s own carelessness caused the accident and the ensuing harm. However, even a victim who is partly responsible for the accident can potentially recover a reduced amount of compensation that is proportionate to the defendant’s degree of responsibility.
Since chain reaction car accidents involve multiple parties, investigating which driver acted negligently can be extremely challenging. In some cases, multiple drivers may have been negligent, and then each driver’s share of liability has to be determined. The process of ascertaining fault in these crashes is highly fact-intensive. A number of sources, including eyewitness accounts, police reports, vehicle damage assessments, and evidence at the scene of the accident can often help establish the order of impacts and which driver operated his or her vehicle carelessly. This is a reason why victims should enlist the assistance of knowledgeable attorneys when filing a negligence claim based on a crash involving several vehicles.Discuss Your Injury Case with an Elkins Attorney
Our firm is led by an aggressive car crash lawyer who represents clients from Clarksburg, Buckhannon, and throughout West Virginia. Establishing liability in multi-car crashes is complicated, so it is important to consult an experienced Elkins attorney who will assess the merits of your case. We take a personal interest in every case we handle, and we will fight to pursue the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 877-637-5756 or contact us online for a free initial consultation, even if you are not sure that you have a claim.