Auto accidents involving multiple vehicles can be slow, step-by-step endeavors, or sudden and chaotic collisions between many drivers at once. In either case, pileups can spiral out of control and present a serious hazard on busy or high-speed roads, affecting dozens of motorists in more severe cases. Unlike simple two-car collisions, multi-vehicle pileups can be difficult to parse, with each driver’s liability for every other driver’s damages frequently being up for debate. However, while a driver’s exact level of fault is likely subject to how good their lawyer is, there are still general guidelines you can use to understand the liability system.
In order to separate progressive crashes from earlier involved vehicles and ensure that not every driver is blamed for every other driver’s involvement, a chain of causation must link your damages and any at-fault drivers. This generally can be summed up by two types of fault:
Once every driver’s level of causation is defined, you’ll be able to move forward in the claims process and seek compensation. In Arizona, you and every other motorist will be subject to comparative fault, meaning that your damages will be collected in direct proportion to each defendant’s liability.
For example, if your own negligence caused a third of your injuries, and two other drivers were each responsible for a third of your damages apiece, then you would receive 66.6 percent of your total recoveries, with each other driver only having to pay 33.3 percent of your total compensation.
Due to the complex nature of multi-vehicle pileups and their frequent leeway for debate, we strongly recommend talking to an experienced auto accident attorney. With a talented Arizona lawyer on your side, you can maximize your settlement while minimizing your level of fault for other driver’s damages, and simultaneously avoid the hassle of juggling what could end up being dozens of independent cases and negotiations between lawyers and insurance companies. If you were involved in a multi-vehicle pileup (and even if you weren’t seriously injured), contact us at (623) 321-0566 to schedule a free consultation.
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