Louisiana Multi-Car Accident Attorneys
When more than one or two cars are involved in a traffic accident, figuring out liability, damages, and compensation can become complicated. If you’re involved in a Louisiana multi-car accident and are injured, you should consult an experienced car accident lawyer for advice on how best to proceed in your case.
The main question that arises in multi-vehicle crash injury cases is what party or parties are at fault. If two vehicles each crash into a third, who should pay damages?
Louisiana uses a rule called pure comparative negligence when determining fault for a personal injury case. This means that each party will be held liable for the share of damages equal to their role in an accident. For example, if two cars crash into a third, and each was 50% at fault, each will be liable for 50% of the damages awarded.
Pileup accidents, or those involving multiple vehicles, can also be dangerous for others on the road:
- Pileups can block lanes of travel, causing traffic back-ups and delays
- Pileups can cause rubber-necking, possibly leading to more accidents as passers-by are distracted from the road
- Improperly-cleaned pileups can leave debris on the road that damages other cars
Types of Multiple-vehicle Car Accidents
The most often cause of a multi-vehicle crash is a chain reaction of smaller crashes. For example:
- A rear-ended driver could be pushed forward, into the car in front of them
- Colliding cars could come to a stop in the middle of a travel lane, becoming a target for other cars
- A driver could be pushed into another lane by a collision, and collide with traffic in that lane
In these and other pileup accidents, one driver’s negligence starts a chain reaction of injury and property damage.
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What Causes Multiple-Car Crashes?
There are a number of reasons that can cause multi-car collisions. In many cases, a combination of factors can contribute to a crash. Some of the most common contributing factors to multi-vehicle crashes include
- Following too closely: Also called tailgating, the failure to keep enough space between their car and the car in front of them is how most drivers cause multi-car pileups. If a line of cars is tailgating each other and the front stops short, they could all rear-end each other.
- Speeding: When traveling at high speeds, for example on the highway or Interstate, it takes longer to stop or slow down. This means drivers have less reaction time available to avoid a pile-up, which in turn makes pileups more common at high speeds.
- Inclement Weather: Bad weather, like snow, fog, or heavy rain, can decrease visibility while increasing the distance it takes to stop, leading to a higher risk of multi-car collisions.
- Road conditions: On restricted highways with construction zones, or on badly-maintained roads, the risk of multi-vehicle wrecks is increased.
- Driver distraction and drunk driving: Not paying attention to the road, or driving under the influence, make every type of collision more likely, including multi-car wrecks.
Determining Liability in Multi-vehicle Crashes
It can be difficult to determine fault in a crash between two vehicles, and every extra vehicle adds more complications. This is one of the main reasons why it’s important to hire an experienced car accident injury lawyer if you’ve been in a multi-car accident.
Most pileups occur as a chain reaction of rear-end collisions. One car will rear-end another, then a third will rear-end those two, and so on. In general, each driver will be responsible for the damage to the vehicle in front of them, unless they were pushed by the car behind and had no control over the outcome.
Whose Insurance Pays in a Multi-car Accident?
In pure comparative negligence states, each party to an accident is liable for damages according to their degree of fault in causing the accident. For example, if driver A is found 60% liable, driver B is found 25% liable, and driver C is found 15% liable in a multi-car crash, that’s how much each driver will need to pay in damages to the injured party. Figuring out each party’s share of liability is what takes up most of the settlement and litigation time of a multi-car crash case.
Louisiana also has a No Pay, No Play law, preventing car accident victims from collecting the first $15,000 of bodily injury damages and the first $25,000 of property damages if they’re uninsured. So make sure to stay up-to-date on your own car insurance in order to get the compensation you deserve!
To legally operate a motor vehicle in Louisiana, drivers are required to have at least the following insurance coverage:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage: at least $25,000
- Medical payments: at least $1,000
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury: at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
What to Do After a Multi-car Collision
If you’re involved in a multi-car pileup caused by another driver, take action immediately to protect your interests.
- Make sure everyone involved in the crash is uninjured, and immediately call 911.
- Make a formal car accident police report with the officer on the scene.
- Take pictures and insurance information of all the drivers involved in the crash, and any witness information
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Do not talk to any insurance company beyond reporting the accident! Insurance companies do not have your interests in mind, and only want to quickly and cheaply settle your claim.
- Call an experienced multi-car accident lawyer for a consultation about your case and what damages you can expect.
Call an Experienced Multi-Car Pileup Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been the victim of a multi-vehicle accident injury, call one of the experienced car wreck lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys as soon as possible. We’re so dedicated to getting you the help you need after a multi-car wreck, we offer the G Guarantee: you won’t pay a dime until we win or settle your case.
Call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys today at 888.501.7888 for a free, no-risk consultation about your case. We’re here to help you find the maximum compensation you need to heal from your injuries and move on with your life.
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