Almost one-third of car accidents in the US involve multi-vehicle accidents, otherwise referred as multi-vehicle collisions or pile-ups.
This may involve cars, trucks, motorcycles, travel trailers all crashing into each other. With thousands of pounds of glass and metal flying about, the probability of serious injuries and death from multi-vehicle accidents is high.
Multi-vehicle collisions are notoriously more deadly than two-car collisions. Several vehicles can hit one car several times from several different directions. Each vehicle involved means a greater and greater amount of broken glass, bent steel, and leaking gasoline. A fire on top is always possible and if passengers can't get out of their vehicles, there's a chance they be burnt or suffocate from lack of oxygen.
Those passengers who can get out of their vehicles are often in shock. They may be oblivious to other cars driving by in speed just a few meters away from them. Moreover, if indeed many vehicles are involved, often that results in blocked roadways making it difficult, therefore late, for fire and rescue crews to get to the accident site.
Selected, most common causes of Multi-Vehicle Collisions
Airbags, heavy insulation, loud stereo systems, and engines that propel cars weighting almost a ton from 0 to 100 km in few seconds give drivers a false sense of security. At high speed, one wrong move can set off a chain reaction with catastrophic consequences in material and serious injuries for the passengers or pedestrians.
Drivers under the influence of alcohol are unfortunately common in Greece. They also include drivers with altered perception under the influence of legal and illegal drugs. The side effects of many prescription drugs include drowsiness and altered time and depth perception.
Cell phones have increasingly become the common reason of car accidents. Talking, texting, taking photographs, and checking email are associated with cell phone accidents. Unfortunately, the majority of those cell phones distract young people. Many feel invincible and immune to the terrible destruction their distraction may cause.
Bad weather conditions often result in low visibility and slippery roads. Snow, ice, rain, fog, and smog are just some of the conditions that can quickly turn an otherwise safe road into a hazardous one. This is especially true on highways with high speed limits.
When a driver falls asleep, even for a split second his or her foot may still press the gas pedal and it only takes a second to drift into another lane, careen off the road, or plow into the car in front.
Car stereo systems turned up very high, conversations with passengers, reading maps, eating, putting on makeup, and general boredom/inattention can also lead to accidents.
Determining Fault in a Multi-vehicle Pile-up
Multi-vehicle accidents often involve extremely high insurance payouts. This is especially true when accidents occur on high-speed roadways and involve four, five, or more vehicles. In these types of cases, the amount of insurance money at stake climbs quite high.
As a result, insurance companies normally assign trained accident investigators to the claim. Because at-fault drivers will seldom freely admit responsibility, it's necessary for the investigators to find the underlying cause and the responsible driver.
Determining fault in a multi-car collision is a complex process. Each driver has a duty of care (responsibility) to the other drivers. That duty of care is to drive reasonably and prudently (carefully) under the circumstances. Not exercising this duty of care is sometimes a willful or negligent act.
If one driver suffers injuries due to the willful or negligent act of another driver, the injured driver has a legal right to compensation from the at-fault driver.
The more vehicles in the accident the greater the degree of difficulty the authorities have in identifying the negligent act. Who was speeding? Who was following too closely? Who was on a cell phone? Were there explanatory circumstances? Was there more than one negligent driver? And the list goes on.
To determine fault, investigators will:
1. Review police reports and speak with investigating officers. The accident investigators are especially interested in knowing whether the police arrested or ticketed any driver for:
• Outstanding warrants
• Intoxication (alcohol or drugs)
• Open alcohol container
• Possession of narcotics
• Suspended license or unlicensed driver
• No insurance
• Failure to yield right of way
• Following too closely
• Reckless driving
2. Interview the drivers, their passengers, and other witnesses
3. Take photographs of the vehicles and the accident scene, including skid marks, damaged trees, guardrails, fences, etc.
4. Review the drivers' driving records looking for prior arrests, tickets, accidents, etc.
Local Multi-Vehicle Accidents at Intersections
Many multi-vehicle collisions occur locally at slower speeds. Intersections especially are hot spots for low speed multi-car accidents. One driver may stop at a red light only to have the driver behind him skid on an ice patch right into him. The second driver may push the first into the intersection, and then a car going through the intersection sideswipes it.
Fault can spread among several vehicles, including yours. Per Greek law, each driver can receive compensation according to his or her percentage of fault.
Mitigation or Elimination of Fault
In some cases, the authorities recognize mitigating or eliminating circumstances. Although most multi-car collisions are a result of someone's negligence, there are those few occasions when no one is to blame.
For example, on a snowy day, each car is driving cautiously and safely when one hits an ice patch and slams into another car, which, in turn, crashes into another and so on. Or, a driver may have struck another car after losing consciousness from a heart attack or other serious malady. In these cases, it's difficult or impossible to assess fault.
If you're in a multi-vehicle accident, experts are essential to collect and evaluate evidence of fault especially if fault isn't easily apparent. As a rule, insurance companies involved, to protect themselves, may produce evidence of lack of fault for their insured.
Unfortunately, many multi-vehicle collisions end up in litigation (court or other legal processes). Because this kind of collision normally results in multiple claims for compensation, without clear evidence of fault, most insurance companies refuse to settle.
The technical side of identifying who was at fault and the exact percentage of each participant must be combined with the medical dimension of the exact, short as well as long term, impact of the injury and the consequences on someone’s life. All Accidents if the only company in Greece which combines both fields.
Why entrust All Accidents with your case:
Our philosophy is to offer more and claim more.
Our expert partners have extensive experience in accident cases, having participated in hundreds of claims and recoveries.
An additional asset of our medical partners is the fact that they have checked in practice and identified those external experts who apart from specialized support in a court, are able to advise or undertake the restoration of the damage. Part of the cooperation with us is the continuous advisory/monitoring of the medical evolution of the person hurt, in direct contact with the relevant physicians.
Do not agree to anything before talking to us.
Insurance companies, in their effort to minimize the compensation you deserve may try various ways of approaching you through "very friendly" intermediaries like lawyers, claim managers or social workers.
Your interests are, however, in complete contrast with theirs. Do not agree to anything unless you receive an advice from us. Our specialist will examine and propose without any commitment from your side how to support you best to maximize your satisfaction. Even if you agree formally on something and your medical condition worsens, there may be ways to re-negotiate but it will be more difficult.
In case that, due to the accident you cannot move, a partner of All Accidents can meet you on the location you will indicate, at home or at a medical or rehabilitation facility.
Whatever the cause of the accident may be, resulting in injury or even in death, you can call today at +30 210 7212175 or at +30 6983 077459 for a professional advice.
We operate under the principle of payNOfee® : there is no fee or expenses to be paid during our initial examination of your case. Actually, you can even pay us at the final settlement of your claim!! Find out more here.
All Accidents will immediately begin investigating the circumstances surrounding your accident and build a strong base for the satisfaction of your claim.