Car crashes typically involve just two vehicles. But sometimes, more than two vehicles are involved. It can happen to anyone. You’re involved in a pile-up accident, and you are now forced to seek medical care. However, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries through a lawsuit with the help of a Southern Illinois personal injury lawyer.
Multi-vehicle accidents are also known as vehicle pile-up or chain reaction accidents. And they are particularly common in Illinois due to the rain, snow, ice, and fog, which turn our roads into hazardous ones. In 2021 alone, we’ve seen some of these accident headlines:
- “Interstate 57 clear after multi-vehicle crash in Jefferson County” (February 2021)
- “Driver fleeing traffic stop causes multi-vehicle crash in Williamson County” (January 2021)
- “Two killed, two injured in three-vehicle crash on Highway 26” (January 2021)
As seen above, some multi-vehicle collisions can cause severe injuries or fatalities. And when more than two vehicles collide, it may be daunting to determine who exactly is at fault and needs to pay compensation.
What Are the Common Causes of Multi-Car Accidents?
The top reason is often driver error, but there are also other contributing factors. They include:
Weather: bad weather conditions cause low visibility and slippery roads.
Sleeping while driving: sleeping even for a second can easily drift a car to the other lane or careen off the road.
Speeding: over speeding is the leading cause of car accidents in the U.S.
Driving under the influence: DUI can include the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, or use of prescription drugs.
Police chases: cases of car crashes during a chase are common.
Use of cell phones: texting, checking email, taking photos, and calling while driving is a recipe for an accident. Distracted driving is among the top reasons for multi-vehicle accidents.
Other distractions: chatting with passengers, loud music, eating, applying makeup, and reading mas can also lead to a crash.
How Is Fault Determined?
Determining who is responsible for a multiple vehicle collision can be extremely difficult. Because of the high dollars at stake, even the at-fault drivers will rarely admit liability. Therefore, it is an essential step for adjusting claims and resolving disputes.
At this stage, it’s vital to hire an experienced Mt Vernon multi-vehicle accident lawyer who is skilled in determining fault in such accidents with joint liability. Your lawyer will help you determine negligence, liability, and proximate cause following the accident.
Contributory Negligence Laws in Illinois
Illinois uses a system to help determine fault in accidents involving multiple vehicles called modified comparative negligence. In this system, each involved can be assigned a percentage of fault and divide the damages based on the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff/complainant. So compensation will be reduced by the same percentage the plaintiff was assigned. So if the plaintiff is 30% at fault for the accident, they will receive 30% less than what they would normally receive.
Fault in Rear-End Crash
When one driver crashes another in the rear end, thus pushing the car in front into a chain reaction accident with cars in front of him or her, generally, it is the car at the back that would be found at fault. However, investigations may reveal that some cars up the chain may have been partially at fault, depending on the specific facts of the case. For instance, a car that stopped at a green light may be deemed at fault if this action caused multiple vehicles to end up in a chain reaction rear-end crash. Your Southern Illinois pile-up car accident lawyer can help you recover damages from the accident even if you were partially at fault.
Determining The Degree of Fault
When a multi-vehicle collision happens, the degree of fault will be awarded depending on some factors. All these factors can impact the value of each Illinois car accident claim. These factors include:
- Position of the vehicles after coming to rest
- Extent and location of vehicle damage
- Police report data
- Weather conditions at the time of the accident
- Witness statement
- Whether a driver was making a left turn
- Whether a state or local traffic law was violated
- Road conditions at the time
- Review of any video surveillance
What Should I Do After a Multi-Vehicle Accident in Southern Illinois?
When involved in a chain reaction accident in Southern Illinois, you can get the full guidance of your Mt Vernon accident attorney. But before then, you need to do few things following the multi-car accident because your lawyer won’t be at the scene of the accident. It may be necessary to do:
- Call emergency medical services immediately if injured. See a doctor within 24 hours, even if you felt fine.
- Call the police and request the written police report
- Exchange contact information and insurance details with the other drivers
- Take contact information of any eyewitnesses
- Take photographs of the accident scene and vehicle damage, including any debris, skid marks, vehicle damage
Establishing a viable personal injury claim in Illinois that involves multiple cars can be a complicated process. That’s why it would help to have an experienced pile-up car accident lawyer helping you establish fault and maximize the claim’s value.
How Are Multi-Vehicle Injury Claims Handled?
You shouldn’t speak, negotiate or sign any documents with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You should allow your lawyer to do that work for you. An injury lawyer knows how to calculate damages and pursue a fair settlement and defend you when evidence is produced showing a lack of fault for the other driver.
A Top-Rated Multi-Vehicle Crash Attorney Helping Accident Victims in Southern Illinois
When involved in a multiple car collision, you may believe you were at fault, so you shouldn’t file a lawsuit. But even if partially at fault, you still qualify to receive compensation. Because you may not know what to say or what not to say, get a car accident lawyer in Mt Vernon to help. You need to take immediate action because you only have two years to bring your claim.
If injured, you need an expert personal injury lawyer at Olson and Reeves, Attorneys at Law who has a track record of resolving complex personal injury claims like those in multi-car accidents. Our attorney will protect your rights and ensure you receive the damages you deserve. Email Us at email@example.com or call 618-316-7322 to talk to a top-rated Southern Illinois car accident lawyer today!