A car accident can be a shocking and emotionally distressing time, particularly when dealing with the aftermath of injuries, damages, and possible fatalities. The stress of dealing with two insurance companies can be overwhelming enough, but when more than two cars are involved in an accident, what can follow is a confusing back-and-forth between insurance companies, all of whom want to pay the least amount for the damages.
Let the experienced Pflugerville car accident attorneys shed some light on a few key topics surrounding multi-vehicle accidents and what you can do to protect yourself if you are in an accident of this magnitude.
Can More Than One Person Be at Fault After a Multi-Car Accident in Texas?
The short answer is yes, more than one person may be at fault for an accident. The tricky part of multi-vehicle crashes is that multiple people, including pedestrians and bicyclists, may be at fault. This leads to plenty of confusion and overlapping opinions when it comes to whose insurance is paying for what.
The slightly longer answer is that even though multiple people may be at fault for the same accident, usually one person bears more responsibility than the others. This is called comparative negligence, and the person with the most fault usually ends up paying the most, which is why insurance companies are so determined to find out who is responsible for an accident.
Comparative Negligence: How it Affects Your Claims
Texas uses a modified comparative negligence standard during accidents. This means that fault can be split between several people, and as long as drivers are less than 50% responsible for the accident, they can file for personal injury and damages.
What complicates any multi-vehicle accident further is if one or more drivers are under or uninsured. This can lead to more difficulty regaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Who Is at Fault in a Multi-Vehicle Crash in Texas?
The at-fault party in a multi-vehicle crash can be difficult to determine. Sometimes, the answers are very obvious. If a driver has been:
- Drinking or using substances while driving
- Driving while distracted
- Making dangerous driving choices or ignoring road safety laws
Then they will likely carry most, if not all, of the responsibility for the accident. However, other circumstances in the accident may come into play. Perhaps the weather was partially responsible; perhaps one driver made a legal but poorly-timed turn; or perhaps a cyclist or pedestrian did not yield to traffic. There are many pieces of a multi-vehicle accident to consider before finding the at-fault party or parties.
While determining fault might seem like a “blame game,” what’s really going on is figuring out who needs to be accountable and take responsibility for the accident. The responsible person and their insurance then take on most of the personal injury and damages cost. Ensuring that the correct people take responsibility for their part in the accident means that your liability for the accident can potentially be lessened, and you’re able to claim more in damages.
When you hire Pastrana & García Injury Law as your Pflugerville car accident law firm, we perform our own accident investigation, making sure that the facts tally up and the correct people take responsibility.
How Is Fault Determined After a Multi-Car Accident in Texas?
Determining fault in a crash that involves several vehicles can be a tricky situation to navigate. Oftentimes, fault is determined by how the vehicles crash. For example, a car that rear-ends another, resulting in that car being pushed into the car in front, might be considered at fault for not stopping fast enough.
However, if one of the drivers in front braked suddenly without cause, or pulled out without warning, then they might be liable for the accident. It differs in every case. Sometimes the smallest details can shift responsibility from one driver to another.
Officers who respond to the scene of the accident may report an at-fault party, determined by:
- Bystander statements, photos, or recordings
- Traffic camera footage
- Dashboard camera footage
- Driver or passenger statements
Insurance companies will also conduct their own investigation of at-fault drivers. They’ll always want to pay the least amount, or nothing at all, so if you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s a good idea to protect yourself by:
- Seeking medical attention as soon as possible
- Documenting everything you remember about the car accident
- Hiring a Pflugerville lawyer well-versed in car accidents to handle insurance negotiations
Contact Your Pflugerville Law Firm Today
With all the variables and insurance companies at play with multi-car accidents, contact our professional car accident attorneys serving Pflugerville and other communities in and around north Austin as soon as the accident occurs. We’re here to answer your questions, and as always, your first consultation is free. Our offices are ready for your call at 512-474-4487, or you can reach out to us through our online contact form.