While determining liability for a car accident is rarely easy, it tends to be particularly challenging after certain types of collisions. Chain reaction crashes, for instance, which involve multiple vehicles, often require the filing of more than one claim by motorists who are seeking compensation for their accident-related losses. This can be a complicated endeavor, so if you were injured in a chain reaction accident in Virginia, it is important to speak with an experienced Charlotte County car accident lawyer before proceeding with your case.
A Typical Chain Reaction Accident
Most car accidents can be attributed to some form of driver negligence. Chain reaction crashes, however, are unique in that they can often be linked to the negligence of multiple drivers. These kinds of crashes can unfold in a few different ways, but most involve a single driver making a mistake that results in an initial collision. One driver, for instance, may not be paying attention to the road and suddenly rear-end the vehicle in front of him or her. If this crash has enough force to cause an accordion effect, multiple vehicles could become involved in the crash. Chain reaction accidents are particularly common when the roads are congested and there is little room for error when it comes to making sudden stops.
Why are Chain Reaction Accidents So Dangerous?
Whatever the initial cause, chain reaction crashes tend to have much more devastating consequences than two-car collisions. This is largely due to the fact that motorists are forced to suffer not from a single impact, as with most crashes, but must undergo numerous collisions, usually from different angles. For this reason, chain reaction crashes typically involve significant property damage, which can be both expensive and dangerous for the occupants of the vehicle, who are at risk of being injured by broken glass, twisted metal, and even leaking gasoline. In some cases, accident victims actually become trapped in their vehicles and must wait for emergency responders to get help, a process that itself is often delayed, as large scale accidents often block roadways, making it difficult for emergency vehicles to get through.
Establishing who was at fault for a chain reaction crash is notoriously difficult, especially in Virginia, which is a contributory negligence state. This basically means that anyone who is found to have contributed to an accident will be barred from seeking compensation. Insurance adjusters are aware of this and so often attempt to place blame on as many drivers as possible. An experienced car accident lawyer, however, will be well-versed in these tactics and, through the use of evidence, including eyewitness and expert testimony, photographs of the accident scene, and video recordings of the crash, can help prove that a victim was not in any way responsible for the accident.
This means that for those who were not texting, speeding, or otherwise driving negligently at the time of the crash, it will be possible to seek compensation from the other parties who caused the crash. Fortunately, this is true regardless of whether one person’s negligence is deemed to be the cause of the crash (which is rare in chain reaction accident cases) or whether the accident can be attributed to the negligence of multiple individuals. Under Virginia’s joint and several liability rules, when more than one defendant shares responsibility for causing a crash, each can be held fully liable for the full amount of the plaintiff’s damages.
Call Today for Help with Your Case
If you were injured in a chain reaction accident in Virginia, you may be feeling confused about what to do next and disheartened regarding your ability to obtain reimbursement for your losses. You are not, however, without legal options, so if you have questions about collision-related recovery, please call dedicated Charlotte County car accident lawyer Herbert E. Maxey, Jr. at 434-969-4873 today for help.