A multiple-vehicle or chain collision is defined as a crash that involves three or more vehicles. It generally occurs on high-speed routes such as highways. This type of accident is one the most dangerous and deadliest forms of traffic collision. It is a chain reaction accident, and it happens in a split second.
The main issue with multiple car accidents is determining who is at fault since many people are involved and they all tend to blame each other. Another point at issue is that these cases involve multiple drivers and passengers, and they all have different insurances. It makes it harder for the drivers involved to seek compensation for injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Dubo Law, headed by Neil Dubovsky, meets the key factors of being completely focused and dedicated to the case. Our Maryland car accident lawyers have many years of experience in handling personal injury claims in multi-vehicle accidents and understanding what the clients are going through. The experience also involves being acquainted with Maryland laws such as the statute of limitation, contributory negligence, and assumption of risk all of which play a crucial role in a multi-car collision case. Clients are usually unsure whether they even have the case, especially with many drivers involved in an accident. Dubo Law attorneys will treat every case with care and individuality, answer all queries and update clients on the progress. Call us today for free case review and no-obligation consultations.
In USA there are about six million traffic accidents yearly and almost third involve multi-vehicle crashes. In Maryland, in 2020 there were 567 crashes and 45% (257) of these involved multiple-vehicle collisions.
Usual Causes of Multi-Vehicle Accidents in Maryland
As with any other traffic collision, multi-vehicle crashes happen for several reasons and in different ways. These accidents raise the potential for multiple motorists to succumb to injuries and suffer from permanent or temporary disability. Common causes involve negligent driving, bad weather, and vehicle defects. All these can affect single-car accidents to turn into multi-vehicle pileup.
- Bad weather conditions may be responsible for many multi-vehicle accidents. Winter season brings icy, snowy, and slushy roads all of which create dangerous environment for drivers. During winter months, drivers should pay extra attention to speed and manner of driving since the visibility on the roads is limited. Sometimes the driver driving beside, behind or in front of you suddenly changes lanes which don’t give you enough time to slow down the vehicle. Few things can happen such as hydroplane, loss of traction or loss of control over the vehicle. These things can further lead to domino effect and cause multi-vehicle accidents. If the driver who caused the accident was speeding, he/she will be held liable for the crash because of duty breaching.
- Drunk or impaired drivers are another major cause of multi-motorist’s pileup. Even though the number of drunk drivers decreased, the amount of those who drive under medications increased.
- In these years of growing technologies drivers tend to use their phones texting, talking, watching videos, etc., while driving. This is considered negligent and distracted driving where drivers don’t keep their eyes on the road. These situations directly lead to multi-vehicle collision and distracted driver would be responsible for the crash.
- Drivers’ seat malfunction, airbag defect, or accidental acceleration are just some of the possible flaws a vehicle can have. There are some cases when the manufacturer is completely aware of the problem, so in the case of a multi-vehicle accident they will be liable for injuries caused by the crash.
Other causes of multi-car collisions can be:
- Aggressive driving
- Falling asleep behind the wheel
- Failing to signal the turn
- Failing to recognize the right-of way
Type of Multi-Vehicle Accidents
There are few types of multi-car collisions which together with causes can result in many deaths. These accidents are a combination of the following types of impacts:
Collision from side-impact
It involves one vehicle crashing directly into another driver’s side. Now this is two vehicles, but if this happened on the highway where the speed limit is higher multiple other drivers may not be able to stop and will crash too.
This type is like a side-impact, but the vehicle that crashes appears from the side; it doesn’t mean it will crash into the side directly.
Collision from head-on impact
Two vehicles that travel in opposite directions crash at each other directly. This may cause those behind them to pile up. This further leads to multi-vehicle accidents and causes fatal injuries.
Probably the most common way to cause a multi-motorist accident is rear-end crash. This happens when one vehicle hits another from behind which can cause other vehicles in the lane to pile up.
Damages Caused by Multi-Vehicle Accidents in Maryland
In most multi-vehicle crashes, the hardest part is to calculate damages. This is because there are numerous drivers involved and may be responsible for injuries or property damage. Damages usually depend on an attorney’s assistance and evaluation of each client. Dubo Law team will investigate the case thoroughly and seek the highest possible compensation.
Multi-Vehicle Accident and Personal Injuries
Some of the common injuries which multi-vehicle accident can use are:
- Fracture of bones
- Limb loss
- Injury of spinal cord
- Traumatic brain injury
- Injury of internal organ
All drivers who suffer bodily injuries may need immediate medical attention, hospital stay and even rehabilitation if there is some permanent or temporary disability. These further influences quality of life, mobility, and employment.
If death occurs, this is not longer considered personal injury claim but a wrongful death claim. The compensation should include treatment, medical costs, and lost wages due to the inability to work.
Pain and Suffering Caused by Multi-Vehicle Accident
Pain, suffering, and emotional distress are accounted as non-economic damages since they don’t have clear-cut monetary value. Therefore, it is sometimes hard to calculate how much compensation should be. The amount of time spent recovering mentally from multi-vehicle accidents can be taken into consideration as well.
Pain and suffering can involve the death of loved one or some disability caused to you, which stopped you from leading a happy and normal life. Another disorder that can arise from such an event is PTSD. This can cause intrusive memory such as flashbacks and nightmares, behavior change, sleep and concentration troubles, and social anxiety.
Damages According to Accident Types
Multi-vehicle collision is one of the most complicated crash types because determining the at-fault party may be very difficult.
Sometimes there are multiple drivers who are at-fault and plaintiff must gather numerous pieces of evidence to present the case before the court. The goal of plaintiff would be to demonstrate that defendant was liable due to type of accident which occurred and caused multiple drivers to crash.
One example is rear-ended type (which we explained above) where there are four cars in the lineup and the last one hits the car in front of it causing that vehicle to pile up on the first two. If, however, vehicles collide from multiple angles, more than one driver may be reimbursed for damages.
Property Damages in Multiple-Car Crash Cases
Property harm in multi-vehicle accidents includes both the cars, SUVs, and trucks damage as well as the location of the crash. If the vehicles crashed into some objects on the road, signs, or railing the amount of damage would rise remarkably. The more car is damaged in an accident the higher compensation can be acquired. Usually, insurance companies would pay for these kinds of damages but if you, however, decide to hire a lawyer and file the lawsuit you can be reimbursed to the maximum amount.
These include punitive damage, trauma, and therapy. The first one solely depends on the judge and his decision to punish one or more drivers additionally and to raise punitive damages.
Punitive damages are payments the guilty party must pay above the compensatory damage. Usually, a defendant is punished for negligent and intentional conduct.
6 Steps to Take After a Multi-Vehicle Accident Occurs
The following advice on which steps to take after an accident is not always applied by drivers involved in multi-vehicle crashes. The reason is that sometimes drivers suffer terrible injuries and cannot do many of these things. In other situations, it may be that someone close to the driver died in an accident or was severely injured, so he/she is mentally in distress and uncapable to follow the steps below.
Here are some things which are suggested to be done after a car accident:
If able, call 911 and inform them of the situation. They will arrange for both police officers and ambulance to come to the scene and give immediate assistance.
Ask For Medical Attention
Sometimes drivers aren’t aware of the injuries due to initial shock. Therefore, seeking medical attention on-site is crucial. Also, if you expect to be compensated this step can determine further case development. Not asking for injuries evaluation right away may be the perfect scenario for insurance companies and they will use it against you.
File the Report
When it comes to police report, drivers are not obliged by law to file it. But this can also be something that the insurance company may hold against you. They may seek the accident to be reported to the local police to compensate you fully for the damage. The police report may contain some on-site details which victims sometimes cease to remember after a certain time passes. It would be advisable to report it to your insurance company because they are entitled to be informed about the damage.
Ask for Information and be Detailed and Precise
Make sure to get all necessary information from other drivers involved in multiple-vehicle collision. That information may include other drivers’: name, address, and phone numbers (both home and cell), employer’s contact information, insurance company name, agent name and policy number, statement other drivers made to you, and their injuries.
Write precise date and time of the accident together with the location (landmarks and street intersections). Other things you can include in your report are weather and road conditions, notes on what you remember about how the accident occurred. These notes may be crucial if you decide to file the claim. Make sure to keep them to yourself and present them to your attorney later.
Record Videos and Take Photos of an Accident
When getting ready to file your personal injury claim videos and pictures of damages may be of great help. Make sure to take photos from different angles to capture all damaged parts of your vehicle or property. You can also ask a family member to take pictures of your injuries and if possible, of the crime scene and what is left behind. In case there is any damage to shrubs, trees or skid marks and some car parts left on the ground take more photos of that too.
There are two important things to pay attention to when this type of accident occurs. The first thing is to be quiet in the sense of litigation with other parties involved in an accident. It is understandable that you experience tons of emotions such as anger and suffering. It is very important that you don’t make any comments concerning the accident. This can be held against you and can raise numerous suppositions.
The second thing is not giving recorded statements to other drivers’ insurance company under any circumstances. If you by chance share the same insurance provider, your statement should be provided directly to the chosen agent on your behalf.
Maryland Laws to Follow in Case of Multi-Vehicle Accident
First and foremost, Maryland is at-fault state, meaning that the liable party will cover the expenses of losses. By hiring lawyers at Dubo Law, you can save yourself the trouble of handling laws which in cases of multi-vehicle accident can be very complicated.
What if More Than One Party is Liable in Multi-Vehicle Accident?
This will mean that you have the right to file a claim against all of them.
Each liable party must compensate you for medical and other expenses, but this will also depend upon their contribution to the accident. The example is as follows: We can suppose that A party has contributed 40% for the accident and expenses from the crash are $20,000. This means that A party will have been responsible for paying $8,000 while the rest will be divided among other liable parties involved.
Joint and Several Liability Law
This law is here to do the right thing for all parties involved by dividing the compensation expenses among them. But each party is of course individually liable to pay for losses. We can go back to the driver from the previous example who has $20,00 of accident loss. In this case party, A will be responsible for paying the full amount to the plaintiff. One thing should be understood. This law doesn’t allow all parties to recover money from other responsible drivers. So, Party A may recover another 60% by filing a contribution claim.
Statute of Limitation in Maryland
Maryland statute of limitation limits the time by which you can file the claim after an accident. The law in Maryland states that you have three years from the moment of accident. If this deadline is missed, you may never be able to seek compensation. As with any law this one also has some exceptions such as:
- If a driver dies this is considered wrongful death claim. This claim can file withing three years, but the time starts running from the date of death.
- Minors also make exceptions because they have time until they turn 21 to file a claim.
- Every party who is mentally disabled at the time of an accident has time until he/she is considered legally sane again.
This law is strictly followed and respected in the state of Maryland. Remember that insurance companies can also call upon this law to reject the claim for your compensation. Maryland contributory negligence states that if a party is even 1% at-fault for multi-vehicle accident, he/she won’t be entitled to receive any compensation for the losses.
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Reasons to Choose Dubo Law Multi-Car Collision Attorneys in Maryland
- Our team considers every case unique and we approach every case individually to determine the right course of action.
- Neil Dubovsky is known for an aggressive fight for his clients with insurance companies thus negotiating the bills to get his clients fully compensated.
- Our lawyers won’t seek any fees until you get compensated and satisfied with the outcome.
- Multi-vehicle accidents may be very complex, so we will make sure to handle all legal matters for you.
- Neil Dubovsky worked for insurance companies too, so he doesn’t lack the experience to fight with emphasis on the result.
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