Do I Have a Case? What to Know About Multi-Vehicle Car Accidents
Some car accidents are more complicated than others. Were you injured in a car wreck involving multiple vehicles? How do you determine who is at fault? Kentucky applies “pure comparative fault” when determining who is responsible for causing a collision. This means it is possible more than one person could be responsible for compensating you for your injuries. This also means that even if you are partially at fault yourself, you can still recover for your injuries, but only to the extent of the percentage liability of the other drivers.
For example, assume a car pulls out in front of you and you collide with it. Behind you, another driver is not paying attention and crashes into the back of your car. Each driver will be responsible for his or her percentage share of liability for your injuries, whether it is determined to be 50/50, 70/30, 90/10, or some other amount. A similar scenario could apply in a multi-party pile up, or a chain reaction rear-end collision.
What does this mean for you?
You could be dealing with two insurance companies, or three or four, depending on how many cars and trucks are involved.
Each insurance company could have different ideas about who is at fault and in what amount.
The insurance companies might have different insurance policy limits.
If you sign a release of one driver, you need to be careful to preserve your claims against the other driver(s).
What should you do after the accident?
If you are able, it is a good idea to exchange insurance information with the other drivers involved in the collision. Depending on your injuries or the number of people involved, it may be difficult for you to do this. Normally, the police will respond to a collision, collect information from those involved, and then prepare a Kentucky Uniform Police Traffic Collision Report. This police report will include the identities of the people involved, as well as information about their insurance carriers. The officer might give you a card with contact information of where to obtain a copy of the collision report once it is available. If not, be sure to at least identify which law enforcement agency was on the scene (local police, state police, sheriff) so you know where to request the report.
Keep in mind that the drivers of the different vehicles involved in a multi-party collision may have violated different duties. Generally speaking, drivers have a duty to keep a lookout ahead, to yield right of way to oncoming traffic, to not follow too closely, and to keep a safe enough distance so that a driver can brake if the car in front stops suddenly. A violation of one or more of these duties, or others, could lead to responsibility for compensating you for your injuries.
For additional information on what to do following an accident, check out our post on Frequently Asked Questions. If you have been injured in a car accident or truck accident and you have additional questions about your claim, do not hesitate to contact us today. There is a limited amount of time to pursue any legal action. Our staff is standing by waiting to help you.