Multi-car pile ups regularly make the evening news. These accidents can shut down traffic for hours and cause injuries to dozens of motorists. Given traffic congestion and the pace of modern life, we should not be surprised to see more multi-vehicle accidents in the future.
These types of accidents also present some unique legal problems having to do with liability, so you will want a lawyer with experience dealing with these types of collisions.
How Multi-Vehicle Accidents Happen
Typically, these accidents happen the way any accident happens—one vehicle collides with another or collides with a stationary object, like a guardrail or barrier. There are many reasons for the initial crash, such as:
- Poor weather;
- Bad road conditions;
- Distracted driving;
- Drunk driving;
- Driving too fast for conditions;
- Malfunctioning car parts;
- Tailgating; and
- Hazardous roads.
What makes multi-vehicle accidents unique is that they set off a “chain reaction” that ultimately leads to more collisions.
For example, one car might slide into another lane on a multi-lane highway, sideswiping another vehicle and causing both vehicles to spin out. The vehicles behind them might slam into the wrecks on the road, or they take sudden defensive measures causing them to pinball off other vehicles. Quite quickly, dozens of vehicles can be involved in a serious pileup.
Even worse, some people might get out of their vehicles after colliding, which puts them in harm’s way of other vehicles swerving and pinballing to avoid hitting them. Very soon, dozens of vehicles can be crushed in a gigantic pile up here in Colorado.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Martin on several occasions and have been extremely pleased with my experiences. He is professional, efficient and knowledgeable. He is truly an asset to have on your side when it comes to navigating the legal world.”Donald V.
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“I have been represented by Brent Martin on a number of matters. In each case, Brent’s work was timely, efficient and showed an excellent grasp on both the law and the facts at issue. He was available when I needed him and was very good at explaining the often complex issues involved. I highly recommend Brent and his firm.”Michael L.
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Legal Issues Involving Multi-Vehicle Accidents
The law in Colorado involving car accidents is clear—the person responsible for the accident must pay compensation to those injured. Because most drivers have insurance, an insurance adjuster will spend time identifying who is at fault for the crash.
Liability is often difficult even when only two vehicles are involved in an accident. When dozens and dozens of vehicles are involved, then assigning fault is made even that much more difficult. The driver of the vehicle that slammed into you might not have done anything wrong other than try to avoid getting hit.
At our firm, we are experienced at untangling tricky liability issues. We can gather the evidence necessary to show who is at fault for the collision, which makes it easier to obtain compensation. For example, we can look at skid marks or marks in the grass to attempt to reconstruct the accident. We might even be able to obtain dash cam footage or other surveillance video. Sometimes, the help of an accident reconstruction expert is necessary, though everything depends on the facts of the case.
Comparative Fault and Multi-Vehicle Accidents
Colorado has adopted a comparative fault law that was initially designed to make it easier for car accident victims to receive money after an accident. However, in practice, this law can actually prevent someone from receiving compensation even when injured.
You can find the law at CRS § 13-21-111. It basically states that if you sue in court you can receive compensation so long as you were less at fault than all other parties involved in the crash. This translates into the following rule: you can receive compensation if you were less than 50% to blame for your injuries. If you were 50% or more to blame, you will not receive compensation in a lawsuit.
Colorado’s comparative fault rules are important because they inform settlement negotiations with another driver’s insurance company. If you are partially to blame for the crash, you will receive less in compensation.
Commercial Trucks Involved in Multi-Car Pile Ups
If a large commercial truck, like a big rig or 18 wheeler, is involved in your accident, then you might have suffered even more serious injuries. These trucks are large and heavy, and they can crush cars and the occupants inside them.
Commercial truck accidents also involve more parties—the truck driver, the trucking company, and possibly the owner of the trailer. Trucking companies often aggressively defend these cases, and frequently send an investigator out to the scene of the accident within hours of it happening.
Speak with a Grand Junction Multi-Vehicle Accident Attorney
After a multi-vehicle pile up, you need an attorney in your corner who can fight for the compensation you deserve. Rather than settle for any attorney, reach out to Cimarron Ridge Legal Group today.
Our lawyers have represented several clients these types of collisions, and we can put our experience to work for you. To find out more, please contact us at (970) 230-7658 to schedule a free consultation.