The Challenges Involved in Multi-Vehicle Car Accident Cases

March 15, 2024

Sometimes referred to as “chain reaction accidents,” car accidents involving multiple vehicles present unique legal and factual challenges for those who are injured as a result. If you have suffered serious injuries in a multi-vehicle accident, you may be facing months of medical treatment. You may be unable to work and take care of your family. To get the compensation you need to rebuild your life, you need to work with a car accident lawyer who understands what makes multi-vehicle accidents unique and, more importantly, knows how to get results. 

Multiple Vehicles Means Multiple Accounts

In any car accident case, there are often differing versions of what happened. These disagreements can be motivated by the at-fault driver’s embarrassment or fear of liability, or they can be motivated by the injured driver’s desire to hold them accountable. More often than not, differing accounts of the accident are the natural result of watching the events unfold from different perspectives. To further complicate matters, the drivers who are involved may not have been able to truly see what happened. Disagreements over minor details and fundamental facts are common. 

In a chain reaction accident, these disagreements can multiply – each driver may have a unique or even contradictory version of what happened. This can make it incredibly difficult to determine the cause of the accident and establish liability. An experienced multi-vehicle car accident lawyer will know how to conduct an independent investigation to reconcile the contradictions and establish the incontrovertible facts. From there, they can create a clear picture of what happened and who should be held accountable.  

There May Be More Than One At-Fault Party

There is always the possibility that both drivers were at fault in a car accident involving two vehicles. In a multi-vehicle accident, the possibility that there was more than one at-fault party is even more likely. Here is an example that illustrates how this can happen: 

  • A truck driver (TD) collides with another car (D1)  that is merging onto the highway when their brakes fail. As a result of the collision, the truck encroached into the adjacent lane, where they were struck from behind by a driver (D2) who was speeding and driving while distracted. The collision causes D2 to go into the oncoming lane, where they strike another vehicle (D3), causing severe injuries. Investigators conclude that D1 was merging illegally and that D2 could have avoided the collision with TD if they had been driving the posted speed limit and paying full attention. Investigators also discovered that the TD’s brake failure was caused by negligent maintenance on the part of the trucking company.  As a result, D3 could pursue a claim against the trucking company, D1, and D2 for their injuries and other losses. 

As discussed above, untangling what happened can be extraordinarily difficult. To identify who is responsible, you need someone who is willing and able to thoroughly investigate the accident and knows what evidence you will need in order to build your case. Otherwise, you risk losing the compensation you are entitled to because you failed to name the correct party. A car accident lawyer can make sure that all of the appropriate parties are held accountable. 

The Insurance Issues Are More Complex

Even though Florida is a no-fault insurance state, it is likely that you will have to pursue your claim against another party if you suffer serious injuries or lose a significant portion of your income. In that case, you may discover that the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured. If there is more than one party at fault, the likelihood of encountering someone who is uninsured or underinsured increases. This can cause significant difficulties in getting the compensation you deserve. 

In addition, there may be multiple competing claims against the at-fault driver if multiple drivers have been injured. The aggregate value of the claims may exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits. In other words, your claim may be one among many seeking compensation from a limited pool of assets. 

Lastly, the insurance companies involved will attempt to avoid liability or pay as little as possible on the claims that are presented. This can slow down the claim process as the various insurance companies attempt to shift blame elsewhere. 

A skilled car accident lawyer will know how to deal with these insurance issues. They will know how to push the process forward as quickly as possible and how to make sure that your claim will be given the priority it deserves. 

You Need to Be Careful When It Comes to Legal Representation

If there are multiple parties pursuing legal claims, it is important that you understand that you are entitled to seek your own legal counsel. It is permissible for one lawyer to represent multiple claimants with the necessary disclosures, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any issues. Accident victims should be aware that conflicts can and do arise when there are limited assets and determinations must be made as to how much compensation each victim will receive. 

You do not need to agree to be represented by the same lawyer who is representing the other victims. You are entitled to hire your own legal counsel at any time. And become car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, you have nothing to lose by seeking independent advice. 

 Contact The Grife Law Firm if You Have Been Injured in a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident

At The Grife Law Firm, we help our clients with every aspect of their case so that they can focus on their recovery. From arranging a rental car to advocating for fair compensation at trial, we walk with our clients every step of the way until their case is fully resolved. You don’t have to face this alone. Call us today at 561-998-0770 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. Let’s discuss what you need and how we can help.