Facts Everyone Should Know About Multi Vehicle Accidents

Multi-vehicle accidents involving three or more vehicles can cause serious injuries to the drivers and passengers in each car. Vehicle occupants already injured in the crash can be violently jostled and suffer additional injuries as more cars become involved in a multi-car pileup. Drivers or passengers who exit vehicles may be hit by other cars during the chain-reaction collision.

Cars on highway in traffic jam

Figuring out what happened when a multi-vehicle accident has occurred can be challenging, particularly after chain-reaction pileups. The drivers of more than one car may have contributed to the accident and to a person’s injuries or death.

Sorting things out and ensuring a just outcome from a multi-vehicle accident requires the help of an experienced car accident lawyer. In Las Vegas, Sam & Ash, LLP will focus on helping you find the best options for pursuing What’s Right for you. Contact us to talk with an experienced car accident attorney now. The consultation is free. We’re available 24 hours a day and there is never a fee until we have recovered compensation for you.

Common Types and Causes of Multiple Vehicle Accidents

In multi-car accidents involving three or more vehicles, rear-end collisions are common, especially on high-speed roads such as Interstate 15. Vehicles slam into cars ahead that have stopped because they’ve been in a crash or are trying to avoid one. In other cases, multi-vehicle collisions begin when a car leaves its lane and sideswipes another vehicle, which sends the second vehicle into a third car.

On crowded highways, such chain-reaction accidents can quickly involve three or more vehicles in a pileup. Cars may be spun around and wind up in side-impact collisions or even head-on collisions.

Multi-car accidents are often the result of driver error, carelessness, or recklessness, such as:

Other conditions can contribute to multi-vehicle accidents, as well, such as:

  • Bad weather, especially rain or ice causing slick roads and fog that reduces visibility (A single winter weather event may trigger multiple pileups in the Las Vegas area)
  • Debris in the roadway, which may cause vehicles to stop or swerve unexpectedly in traffic
  • Work zones, which create unexpected traffic slow-downs, backups, and detours

Some suggest that drivers who rely on automated safety features common in newer vehicles — such as lane departure warning systems and forward-collision warning systems — are less alert to traffic conditions and that that may contribute to multi-car collisions.

Regardless of how many vehicles are involved, multi-vehicle crashes usually start with one driver’s inattention or driving error. When a driver’s negligence causes harm to others, those who have been injured have a right to hold the at-fault driver accountable. Sometimes, more than one driver may be held financially responsible for a multi-vehicle car accident.

Determining Who Is Liable in a Multi-Vehicle Accident

Highway transportation with cars and Truck

In some multi-vehicle accidents, it is not immediately apparent why the crash occurred. In a pileup, there may be several cars and multiple collisions. More than one car or driver may have contributed to a particular individual’s injuries.

The personal injury attorneys at Sam & Ash, LLP can investigate the car accident on behalf of a client. Depending on the complexity of the crash, our attorneys and investigators may quickly determine fault and identify the drivers who are financially responsible.

As the number of cars in a multi-vehicle collision increases, so does the complexity of the crash investigation. Our personal injury law firm may hire accident reconstruction specialists to help determine what happened after a large pile-up.

The evidence reviewed in crash investigations includes:

  • Police reports, which will identify all involved and typically show the positions of vehicles, the officer’s initial determinations about what happened, and tickets issued, if any
  • Traffic camera footage, including about 30 cameras in the Las Vegas area, which may have recorded the crash
  • Security cameras at nearby businesses or ATMs, which may have filmed the accident
  • Witness statements, including from those involved in the crash
  • Documentation of roadway conditions
  • Crash scene evidence, such as skid marks, pavement gouges, or uneven pavement
  • Vehicle damage
  • Crashed vehicles’ black box event data recorders, which measure data such as speed and trajectory at the time of impact, whether the driver braked, and whether cruise control was engaged

Accident reconstruction specialists use measuring devices similar to those used by surveyors to map a crash scene in three dimensions. They document where the vehicles were and walk through the scene with the officers who originally investigated the crash. They’ll photograph and measure skid marks and damage to the roadway, signs, and landscape.

Typically, they will divide a multi-vehicle crash into separate crashes and investigate how they occurred and their relation to each other. They study the evidence with a variety of forensic techniques, such as a yaw mark analysis, which is a measurement of tire marks left by a vehicle that slides sideways while moving forward.

Accident reconstruction specialists can usually determine what occurred and where the responsibility lies. They provide narrative reports with detailed graphics. If called upon to testify in court, they can provide animated depictions of the most complex crashes along with their expert testimony.

Compensation Available for Multi-Vehicle Accident Victims

Policeman is reviewing files and documents

Nevada law allows car accident victims to demand compensation from the at-fault driver who has injured them through an act of negligence or recklessness. The amount of compensation you may recover will depend on the extent of your injuries, your medical expenses, the impact your injuries have had on your life, and the insurance coverage available to provide compensation.

As our Las Vegas car accident attorneys work to determine liability for the multi-vehicle accident that caused your injuries, we will compile your medical records, employment records, receipts from out-of-pocket payments related to the crash, and other evidence to show what the accident and your injuries have cost you.

In most cases, we help motor vehicle accident victims pursue compensation from insurance companies for:

  • Medical expenses for treatment from emergency response to rehabilitation required after a crash
  • Projected costs of ongoing medical care required due to disabling injuries or for anticipated medical procedures
  • Lost income, including projected losses due to diminished work capacity
  • The cost to repair or replace your damaged vehicle
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Under Nevada’s comparative negligence law, the liability is spread proportionately among those in an accident according to the percentage of fault. This means that, for example, if a jury finds one driver is found to be 60 percent to blame and another driver is 40 percent at fault for hitting a plaintiff who suffered $100,000 in damages, the two at-fault drivers would be ordered to pay $60,000 and $40,000 respectively to the accident victim.

We will develop evidence to identify who is at fault for a multi-car accident and prepare a full accounting of your costs and losses from the crash to present to the insurance company along with your demand for damages. If there are multiple potential defendants, we will initially target the at-fault drivers for whom the evidence of liability is strongest and submit demand letters to their insurance companies.

If an insurance company refuses to agree to provide proper compensation, our car accident attorneys at Sam & Ash, LLP will file a lawsuit on your behalf. Our attorneys are experienced trial lawyers and will be prepared to present a persuasive case to a Clark County jury. Insurance companies know our reputation as skilled litigators. Our track record and reputation allow us to settle most multi-vehicle accident cases without going to trial.

Contact a Las Vegas Multi-Vehicle Car Accident Lawyer

It is not unusual to be confused and frustrated after being injured in a multi-vehicle car accident. You may know you weren’t at fault, but authorities still must sort out what happened and determine who is at fault. Meanwhile, you have injuries and mounting medical bills to deal with. The car accident injury lawyers at Sam & Ash, LLP, will help you sort everything out as painlessly as possible.

Our multi-vehicle car accident attorneys can take care of your insurance claim and notify your creditors that we are seeking a settlement for you and all communication should go through our firm. We will handle all communications with the insurance company and represent you and your needs as we investigate your case. We will make sure you get the medical care you need as well as a proper settlement.

Meet with a car accident lawyer at Sam & Ash in Las Vegas for a free legal consultation. We are tough-minded legal advocates but also friendly, down-to-earth professionals who will listen to you and advocate for you. We are here to fight for What’s Right for you. Contact us today.