Determining Fault in a Chain Reaction Car Accident

Determining who was at fault for a collision can be complicated. In the case of multi-car or “chain reaction” car accidents, this can be even more complex. It’s important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Are Chain Reaction Accidents Worse?

The severity of an accident depends on a variety of factors. In general, though, more cars increase the likelihood of severe damage. This is because there is more weight involved.

How Do Chain Reaction Car Accidents Happen?

There are a variety of circumstances that can lead to a multi-car pile-up, but it usually starts with a rear-end accident. This is when a vehicle collides with the vehicle in front of it, typically because the driver of the car in the back was not maintaining a safe following distance. Distractions, such as texting or eating while driving, increase the likelihood of a rear-end collision.

A chain reaction accident occurs when the initial rear-end crash causes another collision to occur. In some cases, there can be four or more cars involved.

As an example of one way a chain reaction accident can happen, imagine that Driver A hit the back of Driver B’s car. As a result, Driver B’s car was pushed forward and hit Driver C’s car.

Fault in a Chain Reaction Collision

Considering the above example, who is at fault for the accident? The answer is that it depends on the circumstances. In most circumstances, Driver A will be at least partially at fault, since it is generally assumed that a rear-end accident occurs as a result of the driver in the back following too closely.

However, determining whether Driver B was also partially to blame is more complex. If Driver A hit Driver B’s car hard enough to propel them into Driver C’s car, then Driver B may not share any fault. However, if Driver B was too close to Driver C, they may be responsible to a certain extent.

Comparative Negligence in Arizona

The reason multiple parties can share fault in Arizona is that we are a pure comparative negligence state. This means that in an accident case, fault is assigned as a percentage between the drivers who were involved in the crash. In the case of chain reaction collisions, this means that multiple parties may be “at fault” and that they (or, more accurately, their insurance companies) will be liable for the corresponding percentage of damages.

Personal Injury Lawyers in Tucson

If you are looking for experienced personal injury attorneys in Tucson, call Grabb & Durando. We’re a local firm with decades of experience helping our clients get the compensation they deserve.

If you were involved in a chain reaction car accident, contact us today for a free initial consultation.
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