Who is Liable in a Multi-Vehicle Accident?
Car accidents between two drivers can be confusing enough to navigate, so when you add in more drivers, it is not always easy to connect cause with liability.
What Causes Multi-Vehicle Accidents?
Many of the same causes that lead to two-driver accidents can also lead to a multi-vehicle accident. A few of the most common causes include:
- Poor weather
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Aggressive driving
- Failing to follow the street signs
- Mechanical problems
When a multi-vehicle accident occurs, there is usually more than one driver who can be considered responsible. For example, one driver might have been speeding when they rear-ended another vehicle. Another driver on the road who was looking in their backseat may not respond to the collision as fast, and thus, also cause an accident.
This makes it difficult to determine who is liable – and who is not – following a multi-vehicle accident.
Considering the Elements of Liability
New Jersey law requires the following elements when determining liability:
- Duty of care: Did the responsible driver owe a legal duty of care to the other drivers?
- Breach of duty of care: Did the responsible driver breach that duty of care, either negligently or intentionally?
- Causation: Did the negligent actions of the responsible driver directly cause the accident?
- Damages: Are there actual damages that can be compensated to the individuals involved in the car accident?
Identifying these important elements can help you determine who is at fault when a multi-vehicle car accident occurs. In a multi-vehicle accident, these elements could apply to numerous individuals.
New Jersey’s Comparative Negligence Laws
New Jersey practices comparative negligence. This means that you can still collect compensation following an accident that you are partially to blame for, as long as another individual held a greater liability than you did. Calculating what percentage each individual is responsible for can be difficult when there are more than two drivers involved.
This often requires the experience and knowledge of a New Jersey personal injury lawyer.
Determining the Details of the Accident
When you are involved in a multi-vehicle accident, it is important to work with a lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected. Many details can get lost, and the goal is to minimize your fault in the accident. Additionally, if you experienced significant injuries, then the goal is to collect sufficient compensation to cover the care of those injuries. New Jersey allows for the recovery of many accident costs including medical bills, rehabilitative care, property damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
However, the other drivers who were involved in the accident are likely to also be seeking compensation for similar damages. You need an accident lawyer who will put in the investigative work needed to uncover the details of the multi-vehicle accident. Through medical records, witness statements, photographs, and videos of the accident, we will determine what happened and who is liable.
Contact a Hudson County Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Multi-Vehicle Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a multi-vehicle accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Birkhold & Maider, LLC represent clients injured because of a multi-vehicle accident in Essex County, Hudson County, Mercer County, Union County, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call (973) 947-4670 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 189 Franklin Avenue, Suite 1, Nutley, NJ 07110, as well as an office in Hamilton, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.