When a car accident leaves you suffering serious personal injuries, the driver at-fault can be held responsible for the medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs you incur. Determining liability for a crash or collision can prove challenging, though. This is particularly true in multi-vehicle car accidents, when more than one driver may be to blame.
What Causes a Multi-Vehicle Pile-Up?
A recent multi-vehicle pile-up in Fort Myers left several people with potentially serious injuries and blocked roads in the area for hours afterward. According to an April 28, 2020 NBC 2 News report, the crash happened on Westbound Palm Beach Boulevard at the intersection of Polk Street. Investigators report that three vehicles were involved in the crash, which was severe enough to cause one of the cars to roll over, trapping the occupants inside. Due to the violent nature of the accident, homicide detectives were also at the scene but no fatalities were reported. Four people involved in the multi-vehicle crash were taken to Lee Memorial Hospital for treatment of their injuries.
Multi-vehicle car accidents occur on a regular basis and are common whenever there are heavy traffic conditions, such as at intersections and on major highways. Often, the actions of one the drivers will set off a chain reaction, causing others to collide with their vehicle. Common causes in these crashes include:
- Speeding and going too fast for road, traffic, or weather conditions;
- Tailgating, failure to yield, and other aggressive driving behaviors;
- Distracted driving, such as using cell phones or texting;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
One of the most common ways for these types of car accidents to happen is when a driver suddenly slams on their brakes. If others behind them are not paying attention or driving too fast, it increases the odds of a multi-vehicle pile-up.
How do I File a Car Accident Claim When Multiple Drivers are Involved?
When a car accident happens, you may be entitled to compensation either through an insurance claim or by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver involved. In multi-vehicle accidents, the reckless actions of several drivers may be responsible. This can make settling these types of claims more complicated.
The legal theory of comparative fault applies in these cases. Under Section 768.81 of the Florida Statutes, each driver may be liable for the portion of which they are responsible for an accident. The following example illustrates how this might impact your claim:
- A three-car accident leaves you suffering $100,000 in damages.
- One of the drivers involved is determined to be 60% at fault, meaning they would be liable for $60,000.
- Another of the drivers is determined to be 40% at fault, meaning the portion they owe in your claim would be $40,000.
Get the Legal Guidance You Need From Our Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney
The Bernardo Law Firm provides the experienced legal representation you need to sort out car accidents involving multiple drivers. To request a consultation, contact our Fort Myers car accident attorney today.