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Who Is Liable for a Chain Reaction Car Accident?

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate for Victims of Chain Reaction Car Accidents

A chain reaction car accident involves a minimum of three cars. Other terms often used to describe this accident include multi-vehicle collision and pileup. A chain reaction accident occurs exactly as the name implies – one of the cars has an accident that causes others also to crash. Most often, the result is a series of rear-end collisions; however, vehicles traveling in other directions can also be involved. Determining liability in a chain reaction car accident is often complex and comes down to the unique circumstances of each accident.

A chain reaction accident can stem from one initial crash caused by the first driver, or there could be multiple people at fault. For example, Driver A was distracted and braked suddenly to avoid a pedestrian. Still, Driver B was tailgating and hit Driver A. Driver C was too drunk to notice what was happening ahead and crashed into Drivers A and B. This is just one of many scenarios in which drivers may share liability for a multi-vehicle collision. In Delaware, as long as you are not more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, you may be eligible to recover damages.

At the accident scene, the police will investigate and make a detailed report of the circumstances surrounding the crash. In addition to the police report, you will want to gather as much information and evidence as possible. This includes detailed photographs of all the vehicles from multiple angles to show damage and where the cars collided. Make a note of any skid marks on the road, and as for any accident, trade contact and insurance information with the other drivers. Then contact a lawyer who can investigate what happened and advocate for your right to compensation.

What Are Common Causes of Chain Reaction Car Accidents?

Heavy fog, blinding snow, or slick roads can be major factors in chain reaction accidents. It just takes one driver error to cause a series of unavoidable collisions. This underscores the importance of leaving enough following room when traveling in inclement weather.

However, not all chain reaction car accidents are related to weather conditions. They can happen due to the following:

  • Distracted driving: Distraction is a common cause in many collisions, including chain reaction accidents. It only takes a few seconds of looking away from the road to miss the light turning, a pedestrian or bike, or someone changing lanes. Technology, eating, drinking, cell phones, putting on makeup, or dealing with children are all distractions.
  • Driving under the influence: Using drugs or alcohol while driving is prohibited because it slows reaction times and impairs judgment. A drunk or drugged driver could cause the initial accident that starts a chain reaction or be the driver who is unable to react in time to stop a chain reaction accident from happening.
  • Drowsy driving: Fatigued drivers exhibit the same behaviors as drunk drivers regarding reaction times and impaired judgment. A drowsy driver may fall asleep at the wheel and start a chain reaction accident or not be aware of their surroundings enough to prevent one.
  • Speeding: Driving too fast for the current road conditions is a common cause of multi-vehicle collisions. There is far less room for error in high-speed situations, and a chain-reaction accident could have serious consequences.
  • Tailgating: Driving too close to the car in front means the chances of a collision are high. Because most chain reaction accidents are rear-end collisions, tailgating often plays a part.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate for Victims of Chain Reaction Car Accidents

Determining fault in chain reaction car accidents is complex, but you do not have to face the situation alone. Contact our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call us at 302-656-5445 today or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we represent clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.