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How Is Fault Determined in a Multi-Vehicle Accident?

October 29, 2020

If you or somebody you love has been injured in an accident involving multiple vehicles, the aftermath will likely be incredibly confusing. After the dust and debris have settled, and after you have sought medical attention for any injuries you have sustained, determining liability is going to be incredibly important for securing the compensation you are entitled to. Unfortunately, determining fault can be difficult. Here, we want to discuss how fault is determined in a multi-vehicle accident.

Fault in a Multi-Vehicle Accident

Determining fault in the aftermath of a collision that involves multiple vehicles typically comes down to determining which driver acted negligently first. This is not as easy as determining fault in a collision involving only two vehicles. Often, in a multi-vehicle collision, the initial negligent driver’s actions result in multiple vehicles around them mimicking the very same action, such as when the force of a rear-end collision causes other vehicles in front of them to also be involved in rear-end collisions.

When working to determine fault in multi-car collision cases, it is strongly advised that you seek assistance from a skilled Lexington car accident lawyer who has experience handling these cases. An attorney will have the resources and legal expertise necessary to:

  • Obtain any video surveillance from nearby homes or businesses that show the incident occurring.
  • Analyze any police or accident report related to the incident. These reports often include an initial determination of fault.
  • Speak to any eyewitnesses to the incident. This can include bystanders near the collision or other drivers and passengers nearby.
  • Speak to any driver or passenger actually involved in the collision.
  • Obtain any vehicle “black box” data or cell phone records if distracted driving is suspected.
  • Work with accident reconstruction experts who can recreate the collision and provide the evidence to insurance carriers or a jury.
  • Work with law enforcement if the case involves DUI or another type of traffic law violation.

What if More Than One Person Is at Fault?

Contrary to popular belief, even a person who is partially responsible for a vehicle accident can still recover compensation for their losses. Kentucky operates under what is called a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that an injury victim can recover compensation even if they are up to 99% at fault for the incident. However, the total amount of payment they recover will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.

For example, if it is determined that a multi-vehicle accident victim should be awarded $100,000 in damages, but a jury also finds that the person was 20% responsible for the incident, then the victim would receive a reduced compensation of $80,000 instead of the full amount.

You can be sure that insurance carriers and at-fault parties will use the comparative negligence system in their favor if they are able to do so. They will want to try to prove that the other parties shared fault for the incident in order to limit the amount of money that they payout for their policyholder. However, if you have a skilled car accident attorney by your side, they will work to prove the liability of the at-fault party so that you receive full compensation for your losses.

Gary C. Johnson, P.S.C. is fully operational and available 24/7 to assist with your case. Our firm has the technology required to work your claim while maintaining all social distancing guidelines to ensure your safety. Our firm is committed to you and we are also available to meet at your location while practicing proper social distancing. Call #HURT from your cell phone or toll free 1-866-268-4200