Personal injury Lawyer Matt Arnold answers the question: “I was involved in a motor vehicle accident with injuries. Do I need a lawyer?”
Multiple-vehicle accidents can happen quickly. Suddenly, a single accident turns into a large crash scene, with numerous serious injuries and/or fatalities. Some of these crashes take place on highways, where vehicles may be traveling at a high rate of speed. Crashes like this happen when drivers have trouble seeing the road ahead or when a driver smashes into vehicles that are slowed or stopped. The result can be devastating. Some of these accidents happen with 10 or more cars and some of the most tragic multi-vehicle accidents may include dozens of cars and trucks.
Numerous factors may cause or contribute to multi-vehicle crashes. Some of the common factors include poor visibility, inclement weather, poor road conditions, distracted driving, impaired driving, and driving while fatigued. Poor visibility often contributes to the crash. A two-vehicle accident can quickly turn into a multi-vehicle accident, putting everyone including emergency personnel in harm’s way. An accident of this type often begins with a negligent driver who hits vehicles from behind. Subsequent negligent drivers may proceed to hit cars as they approach the scene too quickly.
Who is Responsible for Damages?
It can be complicated to determine responsibility in multi-vehicle crashes. In a typical rear-end collision between two vehicles, often the car in the back is responsible for the accident. Multi-vehicle accidents are not always as clear. If an accident occurs, other vehicles may plow into it because they are driving too fast or because they cannot see the road. Some multiple vehicle accidents happen when traffic ahead comes to a stop, but vehicles coming from behind are driving too fast and cannot stop quickly enough. The negligent party or parties must be determined in each particular portion of the accident.
Investigating Multi-Vehicle Crashes
Multiple vehicle crashes are more complex than other types of accidents. An investigation is helpful in determining exactly what happened before, during, and following the accident. An investigation is useful in finding the negligent driver or drivers. Law enforcement and insurance companies may investigate accidents to determine what happened. An injured victim may need to independently investigate an accident. A professional crash investigative team will review the details of the crash using the information and data available.
The insurance company usually ascribes a portion of negligence to each driver. North Carolina utilizes the contributory negligence rule. Strict contributory negligence means that a person can recover damages from the negligent driver as long as they themselves were not negligent. To prove negligence you must show that the driver failed to exercise their duty of care and their actions caused the accident and resulted in injuries or damages.
There are some exceptions to the rule, which may apply in a multi-vehicle accident. A driver who holds some contributory negligence for an accident may still collect damages if the other driver was grossly negligent or when the other driver had the last clear chance to avoid the accident but failed to do so. It is essential to seek legal assistance to help ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
If you or a loved one was hurt in an accident, do not delay. Contact our attorneys for help getting the money you need for your medical bills and other damages. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video, phone or in-person consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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