Any car accident is upsetting, but it is especially disturbing when multiple cars are involved. One of the largest car accidents in the United States involved 194 cars. Thankfully, there were no fatalities in this incident, but it was likely a legal nightmare afterward. California drivers may wonder how it is determined who is at fault in an accident like this.
At least three vehicles need to hit one another in order for it to qualify as a multi-car accident. These types of accidents usually involve one vehicle rear-ending another and starting a chain reaction. Carelessness or driving while distracted are often to blame for multi-car accidents.
Establishing who is at fault can be a challenge in multi-car accidents. The first step is determining who was being careless and started the accident. It may be that multiple individuals share responsibility. A common rule of the road is that drivers need to maintain a safe distance between their vehicle and the one in front of them. When drivers disregard this rule, accidents are likely to happen.
Eyewitness accounts can be helpful when determining how an accident started and who is at fault. Eyewitnesses could include drivers of all the vehicles, their passengers and passersby who saw the incident unfold. Police reports filed in connection with the accident are also helpful. They may indicate that someone committed a traffic violation.
Inclement weather can play a role in multi-car accidents. Fog or darkness can make it difficult for one driver to see a vehicle in front of them, which sets off a chain reaction if they get too close and hit the other vehicle. A personal injury attorney may be able to help a client who has been the victim of an accident that involved multiple vehicles. The attorney might be able to sort through the evidence, speak with law enforcement and look at accident investigations with the goal of helping a client or clients get compensation.