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Multiple Vehicle Collisions: What to Know

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Several components of life can be affected by a multiple vehicle collision—medical, employment, insurance, legal, even social. Here we will highlight some things you may not know about the insurance and legal aspects involved in such a complex situation.

Many times, multi-vehicle accidents result in very high insurance payouts. When the pile-up occurs on a highway and involves quite a few vehicles, the issues warrant the time and attention of many insurance policies, and the stakes become high.

Accident investigators will be assigned to the claims, searching for the underlying cause and the responsible driver. Few freely admit their part to play in such cases, thus requiring a thorough investigation to determine fault.

Drivers have a duty of care to other drivers—to drive responsibly under given circumstances. Failure to exercise this duty is termed a negligent act. When a negligent act becomes the direct and “proximate” cause of injuries to another driver or passenger, the injured has a legal right to compensation from the driver who was at fault.

The more vehicles and people are involved in the collision, the more complex the investigation. Fault is determined by identifying the negligent act. Agents are interested in the testimony of the investigating officers, any tickets issued for outstanding warrants, intoxication, careless and imprudent driving, suspended license, failure to yield, use of a cellular device, following too closely, and other issues. They also seek to find if there was more than one negligible driver.

Most states follow the “comparative negligence” rule, which entitles any driver to compensation according to his percentage of fault. A few states adhere to the “contributory negligence” rule, however, in which any driver who has any fault may not receive any compensation.

Sometimes no fault may be declared due to extenuating circumstances such as snowy road conditions, loss of consciousness due to sudden health issues (heart attack, seizure, diabetic coma), or other situations in which there is no particular person to blame.

If your insurance does not pay out in no-fault collisions, circumstances may lead you to pursue claims against at-fault drivers. Many times, without clear evidence of fault, insurance companies will not settle claims… and that multiple-vehicle interruption in your day might need to enter litigation to help pay for your damages, especially for any costly personal injuries.

If you or anyone you know experiences the frustration of a multiple vehicle collision, please contact Grover Law KC.

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