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Who Is At Fault in a ‘Chain Reaction’ Car Accident?

Multi-vehicle Accident - Syracuse, NY

Who is to Blame in a Chain Reaction Car Accident?

Syracuse Car Accident Lawyer, Jan Kublick, explains some of the many issues that may arise when it comes to establishing fault in a Syracuse car accident cases involving a chain reaction accident.

What is a chain reaction accident?

A chain reaction car accident happens when three or more vehicles hit one another in a series of rear-end accidents that is caused by the force generated by the first collision. Chain reaction accidents account for over 15% of the traffic-related fatalities, and cause 13,000 casualties a year. Many of these types of crashes take place on highways where there can be considerable traffic congestion.

Here’s an example of a typical chain reaction accident:

Car 1 is rear ended by car 2. Car 3 was driving too close and wasn’t able to stop and hit car 2. Car 4 also unable to stop in time and hit car 3. Now you have four cars in an accident.

Bringing an insurance claim or personal injury law suit against these types of car accidents can present a challenge. Because they involve many drivers who themselves may have acted carelessly. When it comes to establishing who is at fault there are a variety of issues that needs to be examined.

If you file a claim you will need to prove liability under a legal theory of “negligence” against another motorist. In order to conclude which driver was negligent you need to determine which driver(s) carelessly caused the accident, and if one or more drivers was negligent, you need to determine each driver’s share of liability.

Each driver on the road must leave a safe following distance between his vehicle and the vehicle in front so he has time to react and stop in time in order to avoid an accident or road hazard. If a driver fails to maintain this safe distance and rear-ends another vehicle it will almost always be considered negligent.

Chain reaction accidents are very dangerous because they are more just one threat. In just a split second the roadway becomes an obstacle course and everyone is frantically trying to avoid a major collision. This confusion can lead to more cars being hit in the disorder that follows.

To be able to establish the order of the impacts and determine who was careless and who wasn’t, a good attorney will look at different sources. They will include: eyewitness accounts, police reports of the accidents, including findings as to whether any driver committed a traffic violation, vehicle damage at evidence at the scene of the accident.

The attorneys at McMahon, Kublick & Smith, P.C. know there are many things in chain reaction car accidents that need to be addressed in order for your case to be done right. That is a big reason you need to get proper legal advise.

If you would like to talk to a Syracuse car accident lawyer about your potential case, please call us toll free at (800) 638-2998. You may also use one of our convenient online contact forms and one of our attorneys will call you at a time that is convenient for you.  All consultations are FREE, and you never have to pay a fee unless your case is successful.

For over 38 years, our personal injury attorneys have successfully helped clients with all types of injury and accident cases throughout Syracuse and Central New York.  Contact us now for a free consultation, and let our experienced legal team help you put your life back together.