Liability in Multi-Car Accidents
According to numbers from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), there were 17,164 fatal collisions in 2017 that involved more than one vehicle. This included 1,517 multi-vehicle crashes in the state of Florida alone. Nationally, multi-vehicle crashes accounted for 46 percent of all fatal collisions. In Florida, multi-vehicle crashes comprised 49 percent of all fatal crashes.
The Daytona Beach, FL lawyers of Chanfrau & Chanfrau take car accidents and auto collisions involving multiple vehicles quite seriously. We’d like to consider some matters related to multi-car crashes and what factors come into play during the litigation process.
A Fatal Multi-Vehicle Collision Earlier This Month
At the beginning of 2019, there was a tragic multi-vehicle collision near Gainesville involving two tractor-trailers, a passenger van from a church, and a midsized sedan on Interstate 75. The sedan and one of the tractor-trailers were traveling in the northbound lanes, collided, crossed the median, and wound up colliding with the van and other tractor-trailer in the southbound lanes of traffic. The crash spilled 50 gallons of diesel fuel, resulting in a fire.
The collision claimed the lives of both truck drivers as well as five children who were in the van. The crash also caused eight serious injuries.
Complications in Determining Liability
With more vehicles involved in a collision, it can be pose a number of complications when it comes to determining liability for the crash. In a two-vehicle crash, liability is far more straightforward. Yet when three, four, or more vehicles are involved, certain motorists may bear more responsibility for a crash than others.
Physical evidence, witness testimony, any available video footage, insurance assessments, and police reports will be essential for assessing liability and amount of blame each party has for the crash occurring.
Chain Reaction Crashes
Chain reaction crashes demonstrate just how complicated these questions of liability can be. In these crashes, a vehicle one or more cars behind you could have been the catalyst for multiple rear end collisions. Usually the vehicle that caused the chain reaction in the first place is liable or most liable for the crash, but there are other factors to keep in mind regarding these kinds of accidents.
About Pure Comparative Negligence
In the state of Florida, pure comparative negligence applies to collisions and can determine how much you can seek in damages following a multi-vehicle collision if you were partly at fault for the crash. In simpler terms, if it’s determined that you were 25 percent responsible for a collision occurring, you can only recover 75 percent of the total damages you were seeking against the negligent party.
Apportioning liability in such a way can be extremely complicated, which is why having a skilled attorney on your side is so important. They can fight for your side and help you receive the damages you are entitled to from the liable party or parties following a crash.
Learn More About Auto Accident Lawsuits
For more information about your legal rights and options following a vehicle crash, be sure to contact an experienced injury accident attorney. The lawyers of Chanfrau & Chanfrau are here to help. You can reach our Daytona Beach office by phone at (866) 610-0653 and our Palm Coast office at (386) 439-7760.