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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Who Is at Fault in a Multi-car Accident? TN Drivers

Multi-car accidents can happen whenever three or more cars get involved in one collision or a series of them that causes a pileup. They are often confusing and upsetting events, so it's crucial for victims to know their rights and how to file a personal injury claim.


Overall, proving fault in these cases can be challenging. This guide will explain the causes, types of accidents, and how fault is determined. It's also wise to hire a lawyer, and Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys goes to war for Nash! They can also help determine who is at fault in an intersection car accident TN.


The Types of Multi-car Accidents

The Types of Multi-car Accidents


Many people have never experienced a multi-car accident, but they're familiar with the various scenarios that bring them on. Here are the types of collisions and how they might play out:


Head-on Collision

Whenever the front end of a vehicle hits the front of another, it's called a head-on collision. This can happen during a multi-car accident if a car swerves out of the lane and goes into oncoming traffic.


Rear-end Collision

Rear-end collisions often happen if a driver hits another vehicle in the rear. The unanticipated and sudden stop causes the rear driver to crash into the front car. This might lead to a chain-reaction crash, whereby many cars rear-end each other.


How is fault determined in such a car accident? Fault often falls on the person who ran into the rear of the front vehicle. However, there are exceptions. For example, a lead driver might be at fault if they stopped fast to avoid animals or humans on the road. In this case, it might be a no-fault accident, even though that sudden stop caused many rear-end collisions because it was unavoidable. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer who is at fault in a head-on car accident TN.


Side-impact Collision

Side-impact crashes happen when one vehicle hits the side of another. They often occur because one driver didn't yield at a red light or stop sign at an intersection. Therefore, it's often easy to determine fault because they are the reason for the car accident. Still, this isn't always true.


Chain-reaction Accident

A pileup car crash involves multiple vehicles, which are often crushed together or stacked because of the intense and severe nature of the accident.


Typically, a multi-vehicle accident is caused by poor weather conditions, including ice or snow. However, driver-based situations could cause a pileup. For example, if a drunk driver hits multiple drivers or a truck jackknifes, there could be many smaller accidents that lead to a large group of crashed cars.


Since many vehicles are involved, it's time-consuming and challenging to establish fault. Investigators look at the factors that led to each incident within the pileup and often rely on witness testimony, closed-circuit cameras, dash cams, and other evidence.


Common Causes of Multi-car Accidents


According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), 2021 saw a rise of 16 percent for fatal collisions involving many vehicles. These motor vehicle accidents are rising, and here are the top causes:


  • Bad Weather Conditions - Roughly six million car crashes happen each year, and 21 percent are caused by bad weather. Though this is a contributing factor, drivers can be held liable when they are negligent. People who speed on icy or wet roads could be at fault after losing control and causing a car accident.

  • Reckless Driving - Reckless drivers often make dangerous or careless decisions while driving and don't care about the safety of others. For example, one person wishes to pass the vehicle in front and does so in poor visibility conditions and with double yellow lines. They caused the accident. Sometimes, reckless driving isn't because of impatience or aggression. Distracted drivers don't focus on the road and text, have conversations with others, or use visual media.

  • Alcohol - Consuming alcohol and operating a vehicle can lead to a car accident. Drunk driving was the cause of 30 percent of traffic-related fatalities from 2004 to 2018. Poor decision-making and reflexes are often to blame. A drunk driver who causes an accident is responsible for property damage and injuries, but they also have criminal offenses against them.


Determining Fault After Multi-car Accidents (Insurance Company and Police)


Determining liability, if there is any, in a multi-car accident is difficult. All the facts must be carefully examined. Typically, those who are to blame are financially responsible, and their insurance company will likely have to pay compensation to the victim.


Responding officers often begin determining fault. They will interview the passengers, drivers, and witnesses of the accident. Likewise, they will examine smartphone and dashcam footage others share, as well as photographs. Sometimes, they will get CCTV camera footage to help with the case.


The evidence will easily pile up, and authorities will use that information to piece the events together to prove fault. If one or more drivers are at fault, they will have to pay restitution and might also face criminal charges, such as DUI or reckless driving.


Insurance companies look into the accidents to validate claims made by various parties. Typically, an adjuster will get as much information from police reports, eyewitnesses, and those involved in the accident.


The at-fault driver will often pay compensation from the insurance company. However, if they weren't insured, they will pay out of pocket.


Most insurance companies aren't willing to pay just because someone said their insured client was at fault. Therefore, it's best for the victim to hire the best car accident attorneys in Nashville to protect their best interest.


Tennessee Uses the Modified Comparative Negligence System

Tennessee utilizes the modified comparative negligence system. This means that a victim can't recover damages if they are 50 percent or more responsible for the crash.


Typically, with more parties involved, the percentages vary significantly.


Work with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Work with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney


Victims of a multi-car accident deserve to seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and more. However, someone must determine fault first.


Overall, it's wise to talk to a lawyer about filing a personal injury lawsuit to cover medical bills and all the rest. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys will go to war for Nash. Request a free consultation by calling or using the online contact form.

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