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Chain reaction car accidents, also known as multi-vehicle accidents or pileups, are traumatic events that occur when a series of three or more vehicles collide with one another in in an uncontrollable domino effect. Usually, one driver strikes the rear of another vehicle, and the force of impact is enough to propel that vehicle’s front end into the rear of the vehicle in front of them. The chain reaction of collisions continues until no vehicles are left in front of the line of cars to strike or the force of the last impact isn’t strong enough to propel the last car into another collision.

These dangerous accidents often force vehicle occupants to endure several powerful impacts during the series of collisions. Also, these crashes put victims at particular risk of injury because they aren’t expecting to be struck and so have no time to brace. Though collisions within a chain reaction often aren’t the result of negligence, the initial crash triggering the series of strikes is. If you or a loved one were hurt in an accident involving a series of collisions, contact a Moreno Valley Chain Reaction and Multi-Vehicle Accident Attorney to see if you may be entitled to compensation.

Risk Factors

Almost 2 million multi-vehicle accidents happen each year, making up nearly 33% of all accidents in the United States. Even though these collisions make up a third of the accidents, however, they comprise nearly half of all motor vehicle fatalities during the year. In heavy commuter cities like Moreno Valley, with a nearly 1.1 million person workforce commuting to or from the city daily, a multitude of drivers and passengers are in danger of injury or death on gridlocked, massive freeways like the 215, 10, and 60. Not only is stop and go traffic standard, unfortunately so is the prevalence of distracted driving and other negligent behavior behind the wheel that can lead to a chain reaction accident.

These factors can help explain why 939 individuals (and untold numbers of unreported victims) were injured or killed in Moreno Valley in 2017 – many in chain reaction accidents. In just the last few years, a crash involving 13 vehicles in unincorporated Moreno Valley shut down all lanes of the westbound 60 freeway, an overturned vehicle on Gilman Springs Road led to an injury-causing three vehicle chain reaction accident, and a woman was killed in an alcohol-related chain reaction accident on the eastbound 60 freeway.

How do Chain Reaction Accidents Occur?

Chain reaction and multi-vehicle accidents can occur in several different ways, each of which presents a unique challenge when determining fault and proving negligence for your case. However, there are a few scenarios that are more common than others when it comes to multi-vehicle accidents.

  • The front vehicle enters a lane and suddenly brakes, leaving the rear vehicle no time to brake and prevent an accident. This leaves the motorist that rear ended the first vehicle vulnerable to being struck from behind. The driver who changed lanes and stopped is usually responsible.
  • The middle vehicle claims the rear vehicle struck them and pushed them forward into the front vehicle. This can be tricky to verify because you must pick one driver’s story over another’s.
  • A driver at the rear of a chain rear ends the vehicle in from of them, causing that vehicle to rear end the one in front of them. The driver causing the initial rear end collision is usually at fault.
  • Phantom vehicle chain reaction accidents occur when the vehicle furthest back began the multi-vehicle accident but claims they were initially hit by another vehicle and pushed into the car in front of them, but the vehicle that hit them drove off in a hit and run. Determining fault here can be complicated, but often checking the vehicle claiming they were the victim of a hit and run for new damage can verify or disprove their claim.

How do I win my Case?

If the insurance company won’t offer you a fair settlement for your claim, most victims file a civil lawsuit alleging someone’s negligence caused their injuries. To prove negligence, you generally must show a defendant owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused your injuries.

Another way to establish negligence is through negligence per se – creating the presumption of negligence by proving someone broke a rule, regulation, or law when causing your injury. This concept also applies to traffic laws such as speed limits and texting while driving prohibitions, which may be useful for car accident cases.

Negligence can be difficult to prove in multi-vehicle accidents. Some factors that may play a role in determining fault are:

  • Time of day
  • Road conditions
  • Weather
  • Mechanical malfunctions
  • Contributory negligence

Additionally, evidence from the accident may also help determine what really happened and who’s at fault – vehicle damage, eyewitness accounts, traffic cameras, and indicators like skid marks may all point to the negligent party. Even though the driver of the first vehicle to strike another vehicle and begin the chain reaction is usually responsible, only evidence will reveal what truly happened.

What can I Recover?

When you suffer injuries from a chain reaction accident caused by negligence, it’s understandable you want to know what your case is worth. Injuries, inability to work, and repairs to your vehicle can rack up huge bills and put your financial future in jeopardy. If someone is found negligent and thus liable for your injuries, the court may award you damages in an attempt to make you whole for various mental, physical, emotional, and financial harms you suffered. Compensatory damages may be awarded for injuries including:

  • Pain and suffering,
  • Hospital bills,
  • Lost wages and lost future earning capacity,
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability, and
  • Property damage.

Speak to an Attorney Today

Anyone involved in a car accident knows how traumatic the experience is and how overwhelming things can become even with just two vehicles involved. More vehicles and more insurance companies only compound this headache – one you don’t need when recovering from your injuries. Contact the Moreno Valley Chain Reaction and Multi-Vehicle Accident Attorneys at Walton Law, APC today to save yourself the headache; we have years of experience dealing with insurers, investigating and litigating cases with multiple parties involved, providing world-class representation for clients like you, and recovering millions in damages for their injuries. Contact us 24/7 at (866)-338-7079 or through our online Contact Pagetoday to schedule your risk-free initial case review. The confidential evaluation is free, and you don’t pay until we win your case. Let us use our skill and resources to help you get the best possible result from a bad situation.