About 12 percent of all car accidents are multi-vehicle or chain-reaction crashes involving three or more vehicles, according to the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Study. Multi-vehicle crashes can be very dangerous. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that 40 percent of car accident fatalities in the U.S. occur in multiple-vehicle accidents. Serious injuries are also likely to result from these types of crashes.
Unfortunately, in multi-vehicle crashes, it can be difficult to determine exactly which driver or drivers was responsible for the crash and the resulting injuries or deaths. This can make it more difficult for people who are injured to recover compensation from the negligent driver who hurt them. At Joye Law Firm, we understand the complexities associated with multi-vehicle crashes, and we can help you if you or a loved one was injured in a pileup.
Contact our South Carolina personal injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm today and get one of our car accident attorneys on your side. We treat each and every client with courtesy and respect, and it is one of our law firm’s client commitments that we return all phone calls within 24 hours or one business day.
Call Joye Law Firm or fill out an online consultation form today.
About Multi-Vehicle Crashes in South Carolina
When an accident involves multiple vehicles, it is referred to as a “multi-vehicle crash.” Technically, the term “multi-vehicle accident” can refer to any wreck where more than one car is involved. However, in most cases, the use of the term is limited to crashes where three or more vehicles collide. “Chain reaction” is another term that is often used to describe this type of accident.
Crashes or pileups with three or more cars may occur in a number of different situations. For example:
- One car could be rear-ended and the force of the impact could push it into the car in front, causing a chain reaction of two or more rear-ended vehicles.
- Two cars could collide and create a hazard that other cars are unable to avoid.
- A car could crash into a vehicle, pushing that vehicle into oncoming traffic or into vehicles in other lanes, triggering a multi-car wreck.
These types of chain reactions are especially common in heavy-traffic areas such as highways, where cars move at high speeds and where cars are in such close proximity that there is nowhere for other cars to go when a collision occurs.
There are other factors that can increase the risk of a multi-vehicle crash. Congested traffic and high speeds are two of those factors.
Other risk factors include:
- Adverse weather conditions — Rain, snow, ice and fog can all contribute to the risk of a multiple-vehicle crash. Bad road conditions and poor visibility make it more likely for two cars to crash into each other and for others not to see or not to be able to stop in time.
- “Rubber-necking” — Many drivers are distracted by accident scenes. When they are looking at the accident instead of at the road, they can crash into other cars or fixed objects.
Who is Responsible for a Multi-Vehicle Wreck?
Chain-reaction accidents can present many legal complications. One issue is that it can be difficult to determine exactly who was responsible for causing the accident. If there are multiple cars that were involved in a pileup, it can be tricky to untangle exactly who caused the incident. Drivers may blame each other, and witnesses may have been unable to pinpoint what the trigger was that caused the accident.
Often, the help of an accident reconstruction expert becomes necessary in these situations. At Joye Law Firm, we can help you to find the expert testimony you need and we can assist you in otherwise gathering evidence to prove responsibility.
In some cases, there may be multiple parties responsible for causing the crash. If this is the case, then another legal issue arises: the issue of which party can be held responsible. South Carolina uses a common-law rule called “joint and several liabilities” when there are multiple defendants. Under this rule, any defendant who is found responsible for causing the injury or who is named in the judgment for damages can be held responsible for paying the full amount to the plaintiff. This means if multiple parties are responsible, it may be advisable to sue them all so you have the best chance of being able to recover the full amount of damages due to you.
At Joye Law Firm, we can help you to determine which defendant or defendants can be held accountable and assist you in taking legal action to maximize the compensation available after a crash.
Contact Our Charleston, Clinton and Myrtle Beach Multi-Vehicle Accident Lawyers Today
Our personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm are committed to our clients, and we will take the time necessary to give your case the attention it deserves. If you’ve been seriously injured in a South Carolina chain-reaction accident, you can count on our car accident lawyers to give you the respect you deserve and work to get the money and benefits you are entitled to.
Call Joye Law Firm or fill out our free online case evaluation form.