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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Who Is at Fault in Chain Reaction Car Accidents?

Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents in Indianapolis are more common than they should be and they turn the lives of people upside down. They're called accidents for a reason, as no one intends for them, but they are often avoidable, with negligence playing a key role in what leads to the eventual incident.


The result is often terrible injuries, and even fatalities, which disturb the lives of victims and their families. An accident scene can look many different ways. For example, there may be a single vehicle crash in which there is one vehicle perhaps crashing into an object or hitting an animal.


More commonly, there will be two vehicles in the mix. However, what about when there are more than two cars? This is where the concept of a chain reaction car accident enters the fray and how car accidents: determining fault by location of damage can also come into play.


The intention here is to enlighten you about these kinds of accidents and how the principle of fault applies during them.


Understanding How a Chain Reaction Car Accident Works

Understanding How a Chain Reaction Car Accident Works


Since there are more than two drivers involved, you'll find that chain reaction car accidents are way more complicated than your typical crash. However, they're not too hard to understand. Essentially, a single vehicle will cause the initial collision, but there will be secondary crashes that start with a third vehicle, and more vehicles may be involved.


There needs to be at least three or more vehicles involved for it to be classed as such, which is not hard to deduce from the name.


Here's an example to help make things a little clearer. Imagine that Driver A is proceeding along a roadway with Driver B behind. Driver C is behind Driver B and is tailgating. A pothole comes up and driver A reacts by slowing down to slowly proceed through it.


Driver B notices this and slows down too. However, because Driver C is so close to Driver B, stopping is a challenge and Driver C ends up rear-ending Driver B. The force from the impact propels Driver B's vehicle forward and it, in turn, rear-ends Driver A. This would be considered a chain reaction car accident.


Why Might Chain Reaction Accidents Happen?


While the look of a chain reaction traffic accident is distinct, the causes are not as far removed as you may think from those of a typical accident. Here are some of the reasons why these may happen:

  1. Distracted driving, such as instances in which the driver who caused the accident is talking to and facing a passenger or if the driver is using a cell phone while driving

  2. Vehicle malfunction

  3. Poor road conditions, which make controlling the vehicle more difficult than it would be otherwise

  4. Aggressive or reckless driving

  5. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Of course, these don't necessarily have to happen in isolation. Sometimes, you'll find that some of these circumstances occur simultaneously, which leads to the eventual crash. This is often where the complexity of establishing fault among the multiple drivers can come from, especially if the root causes are distributed.


Determining Fault in a Chain Reaction Crash


The basic rule of thumb used in chain reaction accident cases is that whoever caused the first collision is the one who is responsible for the phenomenon. However, that rule is not universally applicable under certain circumstances.


For example, what if there were a four-vehicle collision in which two of the vehicles that were involved were racing each other on the road, which then led to the accident? Here, you have a situation in which there are two negligent parties.


This is one additional layer of complexity, but it can get even more involved. How? Well, what if the at-fault party is a driver who was carrying out business on behalf of the employer? In this case, there's more to consider, especially if what eventually led to the accident is not necessarily the driver's fault.


For example, imagine a scenario in which there is a crash that stems from a faulty component in the vehicle that is a factory error. Now, it may not even be the driver or the company that is responsible. Here, it could be the vehicle manufacturer.


There May Be More Than One At-fault Party


As you've likely seen from the information provided above, these kinds of personal injury cases can have multiple defendants, meaning there may be more than one insurance company to deal with. One is bad enough since they are usually trying their best not to have to pay for anything. This is just one reason why victims need proper representation after a chain reaction collision. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has more information on liability in a single vehicle accident too.


Evidence in This Kind of Car Crash


It stands to reason that having proper evidence for these kinds of crashes is quite important. This is also the case under normal accident circumstances, but things can get messy when multiple parties are trying to place the fault on others. Some of the important elements of evidence are:

  1. Medical report from whichever doctor attended to the victim

  2. Pictures and surveillance that can help to recreate the scene of the collision

  3. Eyewitness accounts and contact numbers

  4. Police report

Good Indianapolis accident attorneys, if called early enough, can help a victim to ensure that the right pieces of evidence are being collected.


Insurance Companies Don't Like to Deal with This Kind of Multi-vehicle Accident


Insurance companies hate being on the negligent side of a chain-reaction car accident. Remember that they hate payouts from standard accidents enough. What do you think they are going to do when they may have to compensate multiple drivers? This is why it's essential to be extremely careful when dealing with them.


Schedule a Free Consultation with a Passionate Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer Today!


Schedule a Free Consultation with a Passionate Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer Today!


Car accidents in Indianapolis can come out of nowhere and they can change your quality of life in a second, causing you pain, injuries, a loss of the ability to work and earn, etc. Chain reaction car accidents can be particularly difficult to deal with because of the moving parts, but you don't need to do it alone.


Schedule a free consultation with a seasoned car accident lawyer at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys today!

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