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How Do You Determine Liability for a Multi-Car Pileup?

Just before Christmas, a multi-car pileup near Eu Claire snarled traffic for hours. According to reporting from the NBC affiliate in Chicago, the accident entangled more than 100 vehicles. Surprisingly, no one died or suffered serious injuries in the pileup.

A pileup is a type of motor vehicle accident that involves more than two vehicles. Excessive speed, congested traffic, weather conditions and distracted driving often contribute to these chain-reaction collisions. If you have injuries after a pileup, you may wonder how to determine liability.

Understand the Difficulty

It can be exceedingly difficult to assign fault for a multi-car accident. After all, these accidents have many different parties, each of whom may share some blame Furthermore, because chain-reaction crashes have multiple impacts, liability may fall anywhere along the chain. Hiring an accident reconstructionist may be exceedingly helpful.

Consider the Impacts

In multi-car accidents, there are usually both primary and secondary impacts. The accident’s primary impact is the one that causes the accident to occur. Secondary impacts, by contrast, are the collisions that happen after the initial one. Depending on the number of involved cars, there may be many secondary impacts.

Ask Some Initial Questions

Drivers who cause both primary and secondary impacts may be partially to blame for a multi-car pileup. To help you pin down liability, it may be useful to ask some initial questions. These include the following:

  • What initiated the accident?
  • Which vehicles actually collided with your car?
  • Did your car suffer a primary impact, a secondary one or both?
  • Which part of the accident caused your injuries?

Ultimately, depending on how your multi-car crash unfolded, you may be able to pursue financial compensation from many different individuals or their insurers.