Multi-vehicle crashes are also called chain-reaction accidents because they usually start with two cars colliding and setting off a series of events that cause other cars to crash as well.
Multi-car accidents can cause very serious injuries for many different reasons, including the fact that a car may sustain an impact several times. These types of crashes can also create a legal mess to sort out, as there may be multiple drivers and insurance companies that could be held responsible for the accident and made to pay damages.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a multi-vehicle accident, you need an experienced attorney who can handle these types of complex cases. The St. Louis car accident lawyers at The Cagle Law Firm are ready to help you. We go the extra mile to get fair compensation for our clients, and we have a long track record of success with obtaining significant compensation for people who were injured in multi-vehicle accidents.
Where Multi-Car Accidents Occur
Multi-car accidents can happen anywhere. However, some of the most common locations and situations where multi-car crashes occur include:
- High-traffic areas.
- Highways where vehicles travel fast and drivers fail to leave enough room to respond in case of an emergency. In Missouri, 25 fatal accidents and 802 injury-causing accidents occurred on U.S. highways in 2011. Another 25 fatalities and 1,213 injuries happened on Missouri interstates.
- Winding roads where a driver might go around a curve and come upon stopped traffic or another accident very quickly. Missouri reported that there were 123 fatal crashes on curvy roads in 2011 and 2,724 accidents causing injuries on curvy roads during the same year.
- Snowy, wet or icy roads. Slick road surfaces can make it more difficult for cars to stop in time to avoid hitting an impaired vehicle.
- Roads with low visibility. When there is fog, snow, rain, smoke, dust or other adverse conditions, it can be more difficult for drivers to see accidents or stopped traffic in front of them in time to avoid a collision.
Multi-car crashes can happen in both rural areas and urban areas. As the Missouri State Highway Patrol Statistical Analysis Center indicated, 66.3 percent of all car accidents in the state in 2011 occurred in urban areas, and 33.7 percent occurred in rural locations.
The high speeds on highways and the density of traffic on urban roads can make multi-vehicle crashes a real possibility, while in rural areas these types of crashes often happen on curvy or narrow roads.
Causes of Multi-Vehicle Accidents
Driver error is almost always a factor in multi-vehicle pileups.
Some of the most common mistakes that drivers make that can lead to multi-car pileups include:
- Speeding. A car that is going fast has more momentum and takes more distance to stop. As a result, a driver of a speeding car is more likely to crash into an impaired vehicle or stopped traffic.
- Distracted driving. A driver who is talking on a cell phone, texting, conversing with passengers, changing the music or otherwise not paying attention to the road might not see stopped traffic in time to avoid a pileup.
- Rubbernecking. Motorists who are not paying attention to the road because they are looking at a crash scene are more likely to become involved in a car wreck themselves.
- Tailgating. When a driver is following very closely behind another vehicle, he or she is unlikely to be able to come to a sudden stop if necessary, which could trigger a chain-reaction accident.
In these situations, there are multiple parties who may be responsible for the consequences of a crash. The driver who did something that caused the original accident might be held accountable. The driver who made a bad driving decision that led to the multi-car pileup may also be to blame.
Under state laws in Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky, drivers who are negligent, careless or in violation of road safety laws can be required to compensate accident victims for their losses. This includes compensation for wrongful death damages, lost income, medical costs, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
When a multi-car accident occurs, it is necessary to develop an understanding of the circumstances that led to the multi-car crash to determine who of the many drivers is to blame. In some cases, there may even be multiple drivers whose negligence contributed to the pileup.
At The Cagle Law Firm, our experienced St. Louis personal injury attorneys understand the special challenges involved in obtaining compensation in these types of cases. We have the resources necessary to investigate complex accidents to determine who was really at fault.
Call the experienced attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm toll free 1.800.685.3302. Locally (314) 276-1681 or fill out our online contact form to learn more about how we can help you to obtain the compensation you deserve after a multi-vehicle collision.