Assigning fault in a multi-car accident often requires an investigation into the circumstances that caused the accident. While one driver may be at fault, others may have played a role, as well. You may want to enlist the help of our personal injury law firm to handle gathering evidence to document fault and liability in your case.
Determining who is at fault in a multi-car accident is key in filing an insurance claim or suing those responsible for your injuries and losses. This is the best route to recover compensation based on your collision damage.
Investigating the Collision and Assigning Liability
Proving fault in any car accident requires gathering evidence and establishing:
- The circumstance that caused the accident
- Who had the duty to prevent that circumstance from occurring
- The role others played in the crash
- The value of the victim’s losses and expenses
The police who respond to the crash scene will conduct their own investigation and compile an accident report documenting who was involved, what happened, and who received a traffic citation. This will likely be key evidence in your case.
However, your attorney will also investigate the crash. They will identify the liable party, show how they acted carelessly or recklessly, and document how this affected your life—physically, emotionally, and financially. They can then present this evidence to the insurer or at trial, proving your case.
The Role of Negligence in a Multi-Car Traffic Accident
At the heart of any personal injury case is the issue of negligence. When someone acts carelessly and another person suffers harm, this is negligence. There are four factors you must prove to show another driver was negligent and at fault in your crash:
- They had a certain duty to behave in a specific way, such as yielding before turning left
- They did not uphold this duty, turning without yielding to oncoming traffic
- Their action directly caused the collision
- You, and possibly others, suffered injuries, financial losses, and mental anguish as a result
The evidence used to prove negligence and liability could include:
- The police accident report
- Witness statements
- Video, when available
- Photos from the accident scene
- Accident reconstruction
- Expert testimony
- Your relevant medical records
- Proof of your financial impacts
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
What Happens If More than One Motorist Is At Fault?
In cases where more than two vehicles are involved in a crash, oftentimes more than one driver shares fault. This could happen in many ways. What happens to your financial recovery if you shared fault in the crash depends on the laws in your state.
For example, Louisiana allows you to seek compensation under La. Civ. Code Art. 2323. The only caveat is that you will only receive the proportion of your damages caused by someone else. So, if the court determines you were 10 percent at fault, you will recover only 90 percent of your losses.
Alabama, meanwhile, bars anyone who contributed to a crash from recovering compensation. As confirmed in Golden v. McCurry (1980), Alabama case law prevents you from holding the other driver responsible, even if they were 90 percent at fault in your crash.
What Should I Do After Suffering Injuries in a Collision?
There are generally two ways you can pursue compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered in a multi-car crash:
- An insurance claim based on the at-fault driver’s liability policy
- A civil lawsuit against the at-fault motorist
If you work with our personal injury law firm, we will explain your legal options and which ones suit your needs. We will also represent you based on contingency fees, with no upfront payment needed.
Our team will develop a case on your behalf and seek damages for you. We will help you understand how local traffic laws, state laws, and more affect your case. Our attorneys can also help mitigate accusations of contributory negligence if you were not at fault or minimally at fault in a crash.
Deadlines exist in these cases, although there are exceptions that could increase or decrease how long you could have to act. Generally, you may have:
- Up to two years in Alabama under Ala. Code § 6-2-38
- Up to three years in Arkansas under Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105
- Up to one year in Louisiana under La. Civ. Code Art. 3492
- Up to three years in Mississippi under Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49
Your attorney and legal team can assess your case and explain in more detail the timeline you need to follow to protect your legal right to seek compensation.
Let Our Team Review Your Car Accident Case at No Cost to You
At the Morris Bart law firm, our contingency fee law offices provide complimentary car accident case reviews. We have a team of legal professionals working out of 15 locations in four states: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
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