Sometimes, getting into a car accident results in a pretty simple solution: who is at fault is easily determined. However, more often than not, it comes down to the word of one driver (or passenger) against another. This only increases when there are three or more drivers involved in an accident. Even with witnesses, assigning fault can be complicated and take time. Learn how fault is determined in a multi-car accident below.Most often, multi-car accidents are a chain reaction that occurs when one car hits another, which slides into another. Sometimes, the driver who started the reaction isn’t the only one at fault. In Kansas City and all of Missouri, we use something called a doctrine of comparative negligence, which means that each driver gets a certain percentage of the blame when involved in an accident. It is rare for someone to take 100% of the blame.For example, if there are four cars involved in an accident: Car 1, Car 2, Car 3, and Car 4. Cars 2-3 were stopped at a red light waiting for it to turn green. They were all stopped completely. The driver of Car 4 was no paying attention and ran into the back of Car 3, pushing it forward into Car 2, which caused Car 2 to hit Car 1, which was crossing the intersection.During an investigation, it was found that Car 3 was too close to Car 2, which means that they share some of the blame. Car 1 was following all traffic rules, which means that it doesn’t share the blame.Car 4 might get 70 percent of the blame, Car 3 20 percent, and Car 2 would get 10 percent. This is just an example – each situation is different.The monetary damages that a plaintiff recovers within a lawsuit will then be adjusted per the percentage of liability. However, who each person can file a claim against differs. In the above, the driver of Car 1 can file a claim out of Cars 2-4, but car 3 can only file a claim against Car 4.
Dividing Fault in a Multi-Car Accident
Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact science for dividing up the fault in an accident and sometimes it can come down to who has the better lawyer. However, it does allow for someone to collect on some damages, even if that person contributed to the accident.If you were involved in a multi-car accident, make sure to contact a lawyer, gather as much information as you can, talk to anyone who may have witnessed the accident, and call the police to file a report.Once all of that is taken care of, assigning of fault will come next. This is usually based on the details of the collision. This can take some time, usually directly proportional to the number of cars involved in the accident. Each insurance company will look at the details of the accident, and some may even hire special investigators.
When to Contact an Attorney After a Multi-Car Accident
If you were seriously injured in a multi-car crash, you may want to speak with experience Kansas City car accident lawyers. The team at Popham Law Firm will work with you help with the process. Medical expenses, damage to your car, and pain and suffering can all be part of the compensation that you deserve after a multi-car accident. Insurance companies can be in it for themselves, so you need someone on your side who is willing to fight for you.If you have questions or need legal representation after a multi-car accident in Kansas City, give Popham Law Firm a call today at (816) 221-2288 for a free consultation.