Multi-Vehicle Car Accident Lawyers in Augusta
Getting caught up in a serious multi-vehicle accident can be one of the most frightening experiences in a person’s life. The severity of the damage, and the serious, sometimes debilitating injuries, can all have a traumatic impact on a person’s physical and mental health. If you need assistance after a serious crash, call the multi-vehicle car accident lawyers of Chris Hudson Law Group in Augusta, GA at (706) 863-6600 for help.
Unfortunately, many of the negligent drivers who cause these devastating accidents are hoping that you are either physically or mentally overwhelmed to the point where you won’t pursue legal action. They are hoping to be able to get off with a slap on the wrist from their insurance company, while you are stuck picking up the rest of the tab for your injuries and facing time missed from work.
At Chris Hudson Law Group, we make it our mission to help you hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions while we work to get you the maximum amount of compensation. Multi-vehicle accidents are not only devastating, but they can also be very complex to unravel. Our legal team has the experience and the know-how to get to the root cause of the accident, establish liability, and hold negligent drivers responsible.
Definition of a Multi-Vehicle Collision
Simply put, a multi-vehicle accident is one where more than two vehicles are involved. In many circumstances, there are numerous other vehicles involved. These types of accidents overwhelmingly happen on major roadways such as highways or interstates.
The largest multi-vehicle accident to take place in the United States included 216 cars. The crash happened after a semi-truck collided with a concrete divider, blocking both sides of an interstate in California. This led to a chain reaction where cars continued to come upon the accident scene and subsequently collided with the truck or each other.
This is not an uncommon scenario when it comes to multi-vehicle accidents. One major collision on a busy roadway leads to several subsequent accidents involving multiple vehicles as they fail to stop in time to avoid the wreckage of the initial crash.
Multi-vehicle accidents are extremely dangerous because they involve so many vehicles. Masses of cars being hit and crumbled one after the other can make it difficult for survivors to escape the wreckage of their own car. This is also compounded by the fact that if a car is hit once in an initial impact, an airbag will deploy, which can save them from the brunt of the damage. However, when other cars become involved and there is a chain reaction, the occupants involved in the initial impact no longer have the protection of the airbags for subsequent strikes.
The accident scene itself is also very dangerous because, for those that can escape, they can be struck by vehicles coming up on the accident scene who weren’t able to slow down in time. Multi-vehicle accidents involving trucks are also extremely hazardous because they can involve spilled cargo, a large debris field, and even the leaking of hazardous materials or fuel.
Types of Multi-Vehicle Crashes
While many multi-vehicle crashes take place on busy highways or interstates, multi-vehicle accidents can also happen at intersections when drivers try to beat a red light or fail to yield at a right of way. These areas are prone to multi-vehicle crashes because of the heavy traffic flow patterns and the likelihood that a chain reaction with serious consequences can occur.
While pileup accidents are what comes to mind most often when using the term multi-vehicle accident, there are several different types of multi-vehicle crashes. Some of the most common include:
- Rear-end collisions
- Chain reaction accidents
- Red-light accidents
- Highway accidents
Causes of Multi-Vehicle Car Accidents
One of the most common causes of multi-vehicle car accidents actually boils down to just one thing, negligence. Most multi-vehicle collisions are triggered by the negligent actions of one or more drivers. Poor weather conditions are oftentimes a popular excuse for multi-car crashes, but most accidents could be prevented if drivers used more caution and were not negligent in their duty of care. Fog may make a roadway more dangerous, but a reasonable driver would compensate by slowing down and leaving extra space between other vehicles.
Many of the most common causes of multi-vehicle crashes could be avoided – that’s because the most common causes of these types of accidents revolve around negligent or reckless driving behavior. These causes include:
- Distracted driving
- Inclement weather conditions
- Poor visibility
- Unsafe lane changes
- Drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence
- Construction zone hazards
Liability for Multi-Vehicle Accidents and the Comparative Negligence Rule
When multiple vehicles are involved in a collision, it can be a challenge to establish liability for the accident. Multiple crashed vehicles can also mean a lot of property damage and possibly severe injuries, which means the cost of the crash will be high. No one wants to admit fault for causing an accident that could end up costing them or their company a large sum of money.
Establishing fault then becomes a challenge. Multiple people can mean multiple versions of events. Multiple vehicles mean there can be a huge volume of rubble and debris to sort through, and that can make it more challenging to put together the sequence of events that led up to the accident. More than one driver may also be at fault. The accident may have been the result of a set of negligent actions by multiple drivers.
Why does this matter? Determining liability for an accident has a profound impact on the amount of compensation a driver may be able to recover following a multiple-vehicle accident. When it comes to car accidents, the state of Georgia follows what is called a “modified comparative negligence” rule. In order to determine the amount of compensation a driver may be due, a court will review the evidence in the case and establish fault for the accident.
For example, one driver may be found to be 80 percent at fault for causing an accident, but you are 20 percent at fault because you were following too closely. In this scenario, the damages would be totaled up, and you would be entitled to collect the full amount minus 20 percent. If the total damages were $100,000, then you would ultimately be able to collect $80,000. This is the heart of the comparative negligence rule.
However, we said that Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence rule. What does the “modified” stand for? The modified comparative negligence rule means that if a driver is found 50 percent or more at fault for causing an accident, they are not entitled to recover any type of compensation. The modified comparative negligence rule means that establishing fault for a multi-vehicle accident is imperative to make sure you are properly and fairly compensated for your injuries after an accident.
Working with an attorney from the start is the best way to ensure that you will be able to seek maximum compensation for your injuries. An attorney knowledgeable in dealing with multi-vehicle accidents will be able to immediately begin the evidence-gathering process, which can help establish fault. An attorney will be able to go after police reports, documents, video evidence, and witness statements, and also be able to recover any type of in-cab or video recordings of the accident before they are lost or destroyed.
A skilled attorney will also have the resources to be able to bring in an accident reconstruction expert to help with your case. An established and experienced attorney is the best way to ensure that you have the help you need to build a solid case and recover the compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations for Multi-Vehicle Car Accidents
After a serious multi-vehicle car accident, the state of Georgia gives individuals two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This statute of limitations means that after the two-year time period has elapsed, there is no further legal recourse a person can take to recover compensation. A lawsuit filed after the two-year time period will be dismissed by the courts.
While two years may seem like plenty of time to get a suit together, that isn’t always the case. Multi-car crashes can be complicated. Recreating the accident, gathering evidence, and determining fault can take time, especially if an attorney isn’t contacted immediately following the accident. Some people wait until they know what the car insurance settlement will be. However, if the settlement comes back and is unacceptable or unfair, a large chunk of time has been lost, and the statute of limitations may have already expired.
Time is not on your side following a serious multi-vehicle accident. Getting in touch with an attorney right away gives you the best opportunity to fight for the compensation you deserve. An experienced attorney can help you negotiate with an insurance company in order to make sure you aren’t being taken advantage of.
If the settlement the insurance company offers isn’t fair, or they are not negotiating in good faith, an experienced attorney can change course and help you prepare for legal action. There is no good reason not to get an attorney on your side early, and the legal team at Chris Hudson Law Group always stands ready to help you get what you deserve.
Contact An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer from Chris Hudson Law Group in Augusta, GA
Multi-vehicle car accidents often cause severe and even fatal injuries. They are serious events that can change the way you live the rest of your life, leaving you with pain, suffering, and enormous medical bills. You shouldn’t be on the hook financially for an accident you didn’t cause. That’s where the legal team at Chris Hudson Law Group can help.
Our car accident lawyers specialize in all aspects of traffic accidents. We are on your side, looking out for your rights, and making sure that at-fault, negligent drivers are held accountable for their actions.