Three-Car Accident: Who Pays?
Ryan Zavodnick | July 13, 2022 | Car Accidents
A three-car accident can cause traumatic injuries for the individuals involved in the crash. Additionally, multi-vehicle car accidents result in complicated personal injury claims. Proving causation and fault are essential steps for recovering compensation for damages; the more parties there are involved in the accident, the more difficult it can become to pin these factors down.
How Do Multi-Vehicle Accidents Occur?
Multi-vehicle accidents or chain reaction crashes begin when one vehicle collides with another vehicle. Then, a third car crashes into one or both of the two vehicles involved in the original crash.
Common multi-vehicle crashes include rear-end accidents, interstate crashes, and intersection accidents. However, any car accident has the potential to become a multi-vehicle accident. Additional vehicles can crash into a motor vehicle accident, causing a three-car accident.
Causes of three-car accidents and chain-reaction crashes include:
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Distracted driving (takes the driver’s attention away from the road ahead)
- Failing to use turn signals (does not allow other drivers to take action to avoid a crash)
- Speeding (reduces the time a driver has to avoid crashing into a collision)
- Improper lane changes, especially in congested areas where a vehicle can collide with multiple cars
- Drunk driving (reduces the driver’s reaction time to avoid a crash)
Weather and road conditions can also contribute to the cause of a three-car accident. A driver might be unable to slow down to avoid hitting cars involved in a crash if they travel too fast for conditions. Road conditions could cause drivers to swerve into oncoming traffic, causing a multi-vehicle accident.
Three-Car Accidents Cause Traumatic and Catastrophic Injuries
When multiple vehicles are involved in a collision, the risk of life-threatening and traumatic injuries increases. Multiple collisions can cause additional injuries, and initial injuries can worsen with each successive collision.
Common injuries in three-car accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Multiple fractures and broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Internal organ damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Crushing injuries
The damages caused by a multi-vehicle accident can be substantial. Victims may incur significant financial losses and economic damages because of the severity of their injuries. They may also experience intense pain and suffering that results in non-economic damages.
Accident victims can file lawsuits and pursue injury claims against each party who contributed to the cause of the accident. However, sorting out fault and liability could be challenging as each insurance company and driver seeks to void being at fault for the cause of the multi-vehicle accident.
Who Is Responsible for Damages for a Three-Car Accident in Philadelphia?
The party who caused a collision can be held liable for damages. Proving liability requires you to have evidence showing:
- The party owed you a duty of care, such as following traffic laws and driving safely to avoid a car crash
- The party breached the duty of care, such as failing to yield the right of way, tailgating, or texting while driving
- The breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of the car accident
- You sustained damages because of the other party’s breach of duty
In a car accident case, your car accident lawyer gathers evidence proving the other driver caused the car wreck. However, when three or more vehicles are involved in an accident, you must determine how each collision occurred. Then you must prove which driver caused the collision.
In theory, your personal injury case could include claims against all drivers. It all depends on whether one or both collisions caused your injuries.
In addition to proving who caused each collision, you must prove that the collisions caused your injuries. Therefore, you might need medical experts to testify how your injuries occurred and which collisions resulted in specific injuries.
What Should I Do After a Three-Car Accident in Philadelphia?
Call 911 immediately to report the traffic accident. Police officers and EMS will be dispatched to the accident scene.
If it is safe to do so, take pictures of the crash site, including the position of each vehicle. It can also help to make a video with your cell phone. Ask witnesses to give you their names and contact information.
Do not admit fault for the car crash. Until an attorney investigates the cause of the crash, you cannot be sure whether you contributed to the multi-vehicle accident. You do not want what you say at the accident scene to be used against you to allege contributory fault.
Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. Delays in medical care could make it more difficult to prove that the car crash caused your injuries.
If an insurance adjuster calls you about the accident, it is best to refer them to your injury attorney. Talking with an insurance adjuster could hurt your case because all the adjuster wants to do is find evidence they can use to deny or undervalue your claim. Your lawyer handles all matters related to the accident, including filing insurance claims and dealing with claims adjusters.
Contact Our Car Accidents Law Firm in Philadelphia Today To Get Help With Your Case
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers at (215) 875-7030 or contact us online.
You can also visit our law firm at 123 S Broad St #1220, Philadelphia, PA 19109.