When an accident involves multiple vehicles, it can be extremely difficult to establish fault. Each insurance company involved is trying their best to reduce and even avoid liability. Hiring an experienced motor vehicle lawyer ensures that your rights are protected throughout the process.

What is a chain reaction car accident?

Simply put, this is a car accident that involves 3 or more cars in a series of collisions caused by the force of a single collision. It could happen as a result of the negligent actions of one driver who will be held liable. If it is determined that two or more drivers were negligent each will bear their own share of liability.

How a chain reaction car accident occurs

Chain reaction car accidents are quite common in narrow roads and during traffic stops. They typically happen when one car crash forced other vehicles to hit one another.

Let’s take an example below

Driver A >       Driver B >       Driver C

Driver B and Driver C are stopped at an intersection. Driver A is unable to break on time and ends up colliding with Driver B. This causes Driver B to push Driver C and another crash occurs. It’s clear that in this case, Driver A initiated the accident. Even though you may assume that Driver A will bear all the responsibility for the accident, this may not always be the case.

The other drivers (Driver B and Driver C) can be proven to be at fault as well. For instance, if Driver C did not use their brake lights or other signals to indicate that he’s stopping, he could bear some of the fault. There are many instances in which other drivers may share the fault. A few common examples include:

  • If the driver failed to use the brake lights
  • If the driver was following too closely
  • If the driver was over speeding
  • If the driver was distracted e.g. on the phone while behind the wheel
  • If the traffic signs were not properly maintained or installed by the public agency
  • Presence of obstacles on the road that caused the driver to stop abruptly

There are even cases where no one will be held responsible for the accident. For instance, if the accident was due to bad weather or a natural hazard like an ice patch, none of the drivers can be blamed for the crash. If the driver had a medical condition that caused him/her to lose consciousness while behind the wheel, the liability may be eliminated altogether.

Establishing who is at fault in chain reaction car accidents

Chain reaction car accidents can be complex, and you will often need a qualified and experienced professional to help determine who is at fault. It is often difficult to determine which driver has caused the accident until their respective lawyers meet and perform cross-examinations. The important step is to prove negligence which a competent lawyer can do.