Personal Injury Lawyer Fort Worth Texas

Who Is at Fault in a Multi-Car Pile-Up?

Identifying responsible parties after a Texas multi-vehicle crash

In an instant, any driver can become a victim of a multi-car pile-up – often to factors beyond their control. Perhaps a car suddenly stops or slows down on S. Riverside Drive, causing the car behind to crash into it and setting off a chain reaction of rear-end accidents. Or maybe bad weather is a factor. In a mix of fog, rain, and ice, suddenly a semi-truck loses control and jackknifes, leading to a pile-up as other drivers struggle to avoid collisions.

In Texas, the driver responsible or “at fault” for the crash pays for the damages. Although this seems straightforward, figuring out who’s responsible for a multi-car pile-up is far from simple. Usually, a thorough, professional investigation is necessary to identify who is accountable. For anyone who's been in a crash, tackling this process may feel overwhelming, but it’s necessary for getting the compensation they are owed. This is when an experienced Fort Worth car accident attorney can be invaluable. They’ll take care of the investigation, figure out who is at fault, and handle the claims, giving crash victims the space to heal and concentrate on what’s important.

Fault is divided among everyone involved in a Texas multi-car crash

Usually, multi-vehicle pile-ups are not the fault of a single driver. In Texas, accident fault is divided among all involved parties – including the victim. Each party negotiates to lower to what degree they were a factor in causing the crash. Then an individual’s compensation is reduced by their percentage contribution to the accident.

Here's an example of how it works. An injured victim in a multi-vehicle pile-up crash with $100,000 in damages who contributed 5 percent to the collision would have their compensation reduced by 5 percent ($5,000) to $95,000.

While the first impact in a chain reaction crash is critical, fault must be determined for each impact. In a pile-up, an injured crash victim may have to seek compensation from multiple liable parties, including people who weren’t even at the crash site. This may include defective parts manufacturers, vehicle owners (if not the drivers), and employers (if a work vehicle is involved), among others. The bottom line is that many multi-vehicle pile-up crash victims end up filing claims and negotiating with multiple insurance companies – and their lawyers. It’s complex.

Determining fault for each point of impact

In a multi-vehicle pile-up, determining who is at fault is a must because it informs who is liable for damages. Each party’s actions are closely analyzed for examples of negligence like speeding or not following traffic laws. Here are some common types of pile-ups and fault:

Any of these parties, and many more, could be at-fault in a multi-vehicle collision. An experienced Texas car accident lawyer with a track record of successfully handling pileups can investigate the accident and seek compensation from all parties liable for those at-fault in the crash.

Investigating fault in a multi-vehicle crash

Investigating fault in a multi-car pile-up is a complex process that requires a methodical approach. A lawyer investigating a multi-car pile-up reviews relevant traffic laws and regulations to understand how they apply to the accident. They analyze the degree of fault attributable to each driver under state-specific negligence rules. Here are some common steps in a multi-vehicle collision investigation:

Once the at-fault parties are identified, the lawyer moves on to determining who is liable for their actions - usually an insurance provider. They then file claims with the at-fault party’s insurance provider or, in rare instances, seek compensation directly from the at-fault individual.

Do I need to hire a multi-vehicle pile-up lawyer?

In multi-car crashes, there are often significant disputes over fault. Hiring a lawyer after a multi-car pile-up is often key for the recovery of fair compensation for seriously injured crash victims. A lawyer can help determine liability, deal with insurance companies, and ensure victims receive compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and future damages that they deserve.

Were you injured in a multi-car pile-up in the Fort Worth area? Contact Coby L. Wooten, Attorney at Law, P.C. for a free case evaluation. A member of our team can answer your crash-related questions and explain your legal options. There is no cost or obligation for the evaluation – just information you can trust from an experienced Texas car accident lawyer who is always on the victim’s side.

Click here to download a printable PDF of this article, “Who Is at Fault in a Multi-Care Pile-Up?”

Coby L. Wooten Attorney at Law, P.C.

1301 Ballinger St. #100
Fort Worth, TX 76102

Toll Free: 877-960-1279
Local: 817-502-9284

Meetings outside of Fort Worth are available by appointment.

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