When Your Problem Multiplies: Multi-Car Collisions and How They Can Affect You
Car accidents of any kind are difficult to deal with, and can lead to problems as small as a dented fender, or issues as great as major hospital stays or even loss of life. However, these problems, regardless of magnitude, are multiplied many times over when you have multiple cars involved in a single accident.
Multi-car collisions (sometimes referred to as pileups) are actually a common occurrence. The U.S. Highway Safety Administration estimates that almost one-third of vehicular accidents are pileups. Out of the (nearly) six million accidents each year, that’s a significant amount of multi-vehicle accidents taking place, and each of those accidents are guaranteed to have ramifications on the driver’s insurance plans.
Unlike the majority of regular two-vehicle collisions, multi-car pileups typically require more intensive investigation to determine the driver(s) at fault in the accident, and then how each subsequent collision played into the initial accident. For example, the first and primary collision may have occurred because a driver was speeding, not driving according to weather conditions, was intoxicated, etc. However, the third or fourth vehicle to collide at the accident scene may have been a driver using his or her cell phone and not paying attention to the road ahead of them. Had they been looking, they would have seen the accident scene ahead and been able to avoid it. So you can see, lots of individual factors must be taken into consideration when investigating a multi-car accident.
Obviously, law enforcement always plays a part in investigating these accidents, but insurance companies will sometimes have special agents assigned to solely handle multi-car pile up investigations alongside the police. These agents will look at the history of the various drivers, photographs of the scene and each vehicle’s damage (including damaged trees, light poles, fencing, etc. at the scene), and evidence such as photographs of skid marks and written accounts of witnesses. In some cases, there is even footage of the accident taking place (whether from a witness or from sources like a business security camera) which is helpful in seeing more clearly what happened at the moment of the accident. All of this research helps both law enforcement and insurance agents determine which driver was at fault, if any.
Unfortunately, these investigations can take time, and your insurance company might not be paying out the way that you need them to. If you were injured, or your vehicle was totaled in the accident, but insurance claims are giving you problems with payment, your life can be put on hold. This affects your family, your job, and oftentimes, your finances. In these situations it can be wise to look into legal counsel so you have someone in your corner fighting for you.
If you have been involved in a multi-car collision in the Lakeland, FL area and need representation on your side, contact Sessums Law Group. Car pileups are never planned for, and remember, when something unexpected happens and you need legal help, WE STAND FOR YOU!