In a complex, split-second series of impacts, a multi-vehicle or “chain reaction” car accident takes place when no less than three vehicles are involved in a progressive series of rear end collisions. As a result of the first collision, one car is subsequently pushed into another causing multiple collisions from the impact from the first crash and leading to pileups. These collisions can cause several types of severe injuries or even result in death because the occupants of the cars struck weren’t expecting and couldn’t prepare for impact. The nature of these collisions means at least one party was likely negligent, so if you were hurt in one of these traumatic crashes contact a Riverside Chain Reaction and Multi-Vehicle Accident Attorney to see if you may be entitled to compensation.
Risk Factors for Chain Reactions in Riverside
Multi-vehicle accidents are often deadly – 61 percent of all crash-related fatalitiesin 2018 were due to collisions that occurred involving multiple vehicles. California’s Office of Traffic Safety reported 324 victims were injured or killed in Riverside traffic accidents in 2017 alone. It’s no surprise that chain reaction collisions occur frequently – nearly 80 percent of motorists admit to at least occasionally engaging in distracted driving behaviors like texting and driving, and there’s heavy traffic in and around Riverside on the busy 15 freeway with a heavy commuter population. Even a split second of distraction and failing to practice defensive driving techniques can result in a chain reaction collision and changes lives forever.
How Do Chain Reactions and Multi-Vehicle Accidents Happen?
Once you know the basics of chain reaction accidents, it’s helpful to know how they can occur to help prevent them and understand what went wrong when accidents to occur. Though any number of situations can cause an accident, some scenarios are very common in and around Riverside.
- The initial driver rear ends the vehicle in from of them, causing that vehicle to rear end the one in front of them in a chain reaction of collisions until there are no cars left to strike or the force of impact isn’t sufficient to cause another collision. The driver responsible for the initial rear end collision is generally at fault.
- The front vehicle suddenly enters a lane and brakes, leaving the vehicle following them no time to properly brake. This can leave the vehicle who rear ended the lane changing vehicle vulnerable to being rear ended themselves, causing a multi-vehicle accident. In these situations, the front vehicle is usually at fault.
- A middle car in a chain reaction claims another car hit them and propelled them forward into the vehicle they hit. This is a difficult situation because it becomes one driver’s story over another’s, but eyewitness testimony can be helpful to determine the truth.
- In a phantom vehicle chain reaction, the furthermost vehicle claims they themselves were struck first and pushed into the vehicle in front of them, then the culprit drove off in a hit and run. Checking the vehicle claiming the hit and run occurred for fresh damage and getting eyewitness statements can often resolve the dispute.
How Do I Recover for My Injuries?
Part of recovering damages for injuries from either chain reaction or multi-vehicle collisions first involves figuring out who was at fault for the accident. This is usually caused by someone’s negligent conduct on the road that caused the victim’s harm. To establish negligence, you must demonstrate the alleged wrongdoer:
- Owed you a legal duty of care
- Breached their duty to you by either an act or failure to act
- Caused you harm
Sometimes it can be difficult to establish who is at fault for an accident – eyewitness accounts, police reports, vehicle damage, traffic camera footage, or even on-scene evidence such as skid marks may provide guidance. If evidence appears to show that the wrongdoer violated a law or regulation – including traffic laws like speeding – you can establish the presumption hey acted improperly through negligence per se. Even if you were partly to blame for the accident, you still may be able to recover a portion of your damages based on the percentage of fault the court determines you had in the accident.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover?
Any victim injured due to someone else’s negligence may be entitled to an award of damages by the court to make them whole for proven injuries. These accidents can often cause whiplash and other injuries to the neck, back, spine, brain, and soft tissue that require expensive medical treatment and long-term care. It’s common for the court to give compensatory damages for financial, physical, emotional, and psychological injuries resulting from the accident. Among other things, victims may be able to recover for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wage and lost future earning income capacity
- Property damages
- Funeral expenses or burial costs
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Loss of consortium (companionship)
In some cases, victims may also be entitled to an additional award of damages when the defendant has displayed vile, reprehensible behavior. Designed to punish the wrongdoer’s bad behavior and discourage repetition of the conduct, these discretionary awards are often large but require satisfying a high threshold of proof. These damages are often tricky to prove, and so are best handled with the help of a skilled Riverside Chain Reaction and Multi-Vehicle Accident Attorney to avoid costly missteps.
Speak to an Attorney
It can be overwhelming after an accident to manage communicating with other drivers and insurers, dealing with your injuries, and recovering from your experience, but don’t delay – time is not on your side. Contact the skilled Riverside Chain Reaction and Multi-Vehicle Accident Attorneys at Walton Law, APC today to protect your legal rights, look after your health, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys have spent years working tirelessly for victims like you to help achieve the best possible outcome from this tragic situation and recovered millions of dollars in compensation on their behalf to help the healing process. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to schedule your no risk, no obligation initial case review today. Call today at (866)-338-7079 or use our online Contact Page to schedule your free consultation; you don’t pay until we win your case. Let our team of attorneys review the facts of your unique situation and help you get your life back on track.