Multiple-car accidents, which involve three or more vehicles, can lead to complicated legal cases and a variety of insurance issues. Think of multi-car accidents this way: It’s easy to split a pizza when there are only two people dining, but when you add a third person, splitting the pie equitably can be tricky — especially when the pie only has eight slices!
The Most Common Type of Multi-Car Accident
The most common example of a multiple-car accident is the three-car rear-end collision. This is when a car hits another car from behind and pushes the rear-ended car forward, into the car in front of it.
To illustrate, let’s imagine this example with color-coded cars. A red car causes the whole accident by running into a green car from behind. The impact then smashes the green car into the back bumper of the blue car. Is the red car responsible to the green and blue cars for any damages caused? Yes.
Let’s try a slightly different example: What if the driver of the blue car says she felt two impacts? In other words, what if the driver of the blue car says she was hit by the green car and then hit again when the red car hit the green car and pushed the green car into the blue car? This scenario is quite a bit more complicated. Is the red car responsible to both the green and blue cars — or just one of them? Is the green car responsible to the blue car as well? How does that work?
This simple example illustrates how quickly multiple-car accidents can become challenging to navigate. Multi-car accident cases are very different from your traditional two-car accident claims. For this reason, it’s important to work with an attorney who has experience with multiple-car accidents.
Multiple-Car Accident Insurance Issues Faced by Drivers
What are the most typical multiple car accident insurance issues faced by drivers?
By their very nature, multiple-car accidents involve multiple insurance companies, multiple insurance policies, and multiple attorneys. Finger pointing is often the result.
What’s more, when one of the vehicles involved doesn’t have insurance, or what if there isn’t enough coverage to fully compensate everybody involved, the tension between parties may only increase.
As you pursue your multi-car accident case, be wary of getting fooled by your own insurance company. Claims adjusters may speak with you informally and try to make you comfortable as they collect information about your case. They might give you the impression that they are going to take care of you. But the contrary is often true: Your insurance company will only look out for itself, by paying out as little in damages as possible.
Hiring an Attorney with Multiple-Car Accident Experience
How important is it for a personal injury lawyer to have experience handling multi-car accident cases, compared with typical two-car accidents?
An experienced attorney will investigate your multiple-car accident to collect evidence that will help determine who is at fault. Evidence can come from police reports, body camera footage, witness statements, surveillance videos, and even experts like an accident reconstructionist.
A personal injury lawyer who has experience in multiple-car accidents will make sure you are covered throughout your case.
An attorney will establish a roadmap of what you can expect as your case is processed, protect your legal rights, ensure that you get appropriate medical treatment, construct a case value, manage all the paperwork that needs to be executed related to your case, and — if necessary — file a lawsuit and go to trial.
Remember, the earlier you involve an experienced car accident attorney with your case, the better. This is because evidence is perishable and insurance policies can be exhausted.
If you wait too long to get a lawyer involved, you could miss out on your slice of the pie!
Call Negretti & Associates with Your Multi-Car Accident Questions
If you’ve been involved in a multi-car accident in Arizona, California, or Colorado, Negretti & Associates will be happy to explore your legal options with you.