Who Is Liable In A Multi-Vehicle Crash?
Louisiana roads see a fair amount of traffic every year, with automobiles, motorcycles, small trucks, and large trucks all sharing the road. However, with so much traffic comes congestion, and with congestion comes crashes. While the majority of car wrecks on Louisiana roads only involve one or two vehicles, multi-vehicle crashes do happen, with three or more vehicles winding up in the same wreck, causing serious damage to all involved.
If you have been involved in a multi-vehicle crash in Shreveport, it can be difficult to determine who might be liable for the injuries you suffered. Enlisting the help of an attorney can be the first step toward getting the closure and the compensation you deserve after what you have been through.
In a case involving a vehicle crash, a court’s job is to determine who is liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, and determine their percentage of fault (for example, a court may find that a defendant is 80 percent liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, while the plaintiff themselves bears 20 percent of the burden). In multi-vehicle collision cases, this objective is multiplied – each defendant must be assigned a percentage of fault and required to pay accordingly (if liable). Every angle must be analyzed.
So Many Factors To Assess
Multi-vehicle collisions are notoriously difficult to interpret and analyze, simply because so much happens so quickly. However, there are some common patterns that tend to be repeated – for example, a multi-vehicle pile-up may happen because a vehicle brakes suddenly, causing the next vehicle to rear-end them, and the next to rear-end them, and so on. Another scenario that happens often is when a vehicle T-bones another while running a red light, pushing that vehicle into oncoming traffic.
On top of the many different varieties of multi-vehicle wrecks, certain factors (if they are present) can make the fallout worse and affect liability determinations. For example, if the crash occurred in bad weather, that is not necessarily anyone’s fault, but it may be determined that the driver or drivers should have exercised more caution on the road. Alternatively, if one or more drivers were found to be speeding or otherwise driving in a reckless manner, their percentage of fault may rise above what it otherwise would be.
Because multiple vehicles are involved in a pile-up collision, the injuries one can suffer may be particularly significant. While each case is different, multi-vehicle crashes tend to have higher instances of serious conditions like traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis, and facial disfigurement. Such injuries can rack up extremely costly medical bills and cause lasting psychological damage – which can make the decision to file suit easier than it might otherwise be.
Time To File Is Short
After a car crash, many victims choose not to file suit, or even hire an attorney to help them negotiate with their insurer. However, this may be a particularly poor choice in multi-vehicle crashes, simply because of the complexity involved. Louisiana’s “liberative prescription” (statute of limitations) only allows one year to pass after the date of the wreck before the chance is gone forever, and establishing liability – particularly among multiple defendants – can take time. Having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference.
If you need a Shreveport auto accident lawyer, the firm of Rice & Kendig has been handling vehicle crashes for many years. We work hard for our clients, obtaining medical records and police reports so you do not have to, and keeping you in the loop instead of putting you on the back burner. You are not a number with us. Call our offices today at 318-222-2772 for a free consultation.