After most accidents, it’s fairly obvious who was to blame. However, this is not always the case with chain reaction accidents that involve multiple vehicles.
In chain reaction or multi-vehicle wrecks, it can be difficult to determine fault and liability. These wrecks may involve considerable damage and injuries. An experienced Georgia car accident injury lawyer can help unravel what happened.
In Georgia, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against any parties at fault. For example, a tractor-trailer may have plowed into a car. Another driver may have tried to avoid being hit but ended up crashing into a fourth vehicle. An injured motorist in the fourth vehicle might consider suing the tractor-trailer driver and the driver of the car that hit him.
Damages awarded by the court will be reduced by the percentage of the claimant’s liability for the accident. If a driver is more than 50 percent responsible for a crash he or she will not be able to claim compensation. Georgia is a comparative negligence state, meaning your damages will be reduced if you were partly to blame. This system is fairer than in a contributory negligence state where being just 1 percent at fault for a wreck will bar you from making a claim.
Chain reaction or multi-vehicle accidents may involve a series of wrecks in one incident. Last September, for instance, a chain reaction accident was reported in Middle Georgia.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported eight vehicles were involved in the crash that claimed the life of a woman.
According to reports, a drunk driver caused a crash. An 18-wheeler stopped to avoid crashing into wreck cars ahead. A woman driving behind the big rig failed to notice it had stopped in time and slammed into the back of the truck. She was killed by the impact.
There are many causes of chain reaction accidents. On occasions, they can be devastating with multiple casualties.
Causes of multi-vehicle accidents include:
Bad weather conditions.
Some of the most serious chain-reaction crashes in Georgia and elsewhere occurred in appalling weather conditions like ice, heavy rain and snow. Fog is one of the most common causes of chain reaction crashes. Often drivers are traveling too fast for the conditions and hit each other.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), excess speed is a factor in almost a third of accidents. In some cases, drivers who are not traveling over the posted speed limit may be liable for accidents. You should reduce your speed for the conditions on the road at the time. Often during chain reaction accidents, drivers going slightly slower would not have hit each other.
Drivers are more distracted now than ever before. A study by the University of Oregon found taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds increases your accident risk by 24 times. More distracted drivers may equate to more chain reaction crashes.
In Georgia, driver fatigue has caused some terrible chain reaction crashes. Truckers who fell asleep at the wheel at the end of long shifts have crashed into multiple vehicles stopped or slowed down ahead of them causing death and destruction.
Chain reaction accidents are complicated to piece together and insurance companies may not always represent your best interests. An experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer can work out the liability issues and ensure your best interests are met. Call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.