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Determining Fault & Finding Help After a Multi-Car Accident

a car accident in the middle of a traffic jam | Colorado Multi-Car Accident AttorneysA multi-car accident, or chain-reaction crash, is an accident that usually involves three or more vehicles. These cars are involved in an accident usually because of a first collision – but finding who is at fault for that first collision can be difficult. And in many cases, there may even be more than one person to blame for the accident and your injuries. In these kinds of situations, working with experienced Colorado multi-car accident attorneys can dramatically improve your outcome.

Multi-car accidents typically occur at traffic stops, on narrow roads, or during inclement weather. Typically, the driver who is found to be responsible for the first accident is also likely to be held responsible for the second accident. But each driver may share in some of the fault and in some cases a multi-car accident is merely two accidents that occurred simultaneously. The key is to investigate the accident closely and determine who is truly to blame and thus establish negligence.

Examples of Multi-Car Accident & Negligence:

  • Driver who failed to use brake lights or signals
  • Driver who was following too closely
  • Speeding drivers
  • Texting drivers
  • Drinking and driving
  • Road rage
  • Public agency that failed to maintain roads or traffic signals
  • Public agency that failed to clear debris

What to do if You’re in a Multi-Car Accident

It may go without saying, but generally, chain-reaction car accidents have more injuries and are considerably more dangerous even after the accident occurs. It’s important to keep your safety and the safety of others at the forefront.

Depending on the location of the accident and your safety, these are the steps to take if you are involved in a multi-car accident:

Step 1: Never get out of your vehicle unless it’s safe to do so, keep in mind the safety of others, not just your own

Step 2: Call 911 or the police

Step 3: If you’re not hurt and can safely exit your vehicle, take pictures and videos immediately

Step 4: If bystanders who have seen the accident occur stop, get names, contact information, and ask them to stay to speak with the police while the incident is fresh in their mind

Step 5: Ask all involved in the car accident for their insurance information

Step 6: Never leave the scene, wait for the police to arrive, and be sure a police report is completed

Step 7: Contact your insurance agency

Step 8: If necessary, you should see a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Although you may feel fine following a serious accident for hours or even a couple of days, your adrenaline could be to blame. It’s important that you seek medical attention to ensure you are free from injuries that may show themselves later.

Step 9: Last but definitely not least, contact a qualified and reliable car accident attorney. This is a critical part of the process. The sooner you speak to a Colorado car accident lawyer, the better. Not only will the accident be fresh on your mind so you can better explain the details, but obtaining an attorney quickly will ensure that you can focus on recovering.

Establishing Negligence is Key

A complex accident requires thorough and skilled investigation and that begins with gathering evidence at the time of the accident. Skid marks, vehicle damage, and debris can be evaluated to determine who is to blame. Eyewitnesses can also give accounts of what happened to help establish negligence. Police reports are also key. Since the police are usually the first to arrive on the scene, they can often establish a clear chain of liability and gathering the police report will help.

Sometimes, however, the police report does not clearly establish negligence. When this occurs, an experienced Northern Colorado car accident attorney can help. Your lawyer will be able to conduct an exhaustive investigation of the accident and build a case that is designed to obtain maximum compensation.

Insurance Companies Don’t Like Settling Multi-Car Accidents

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that insurance companies don’t like settling multi-car accidents easily. In fact, they may purposefully delay or deny claims until a clear liability has been established. Even when liability has been proven, they may still be reluctant to pay accident victims what they need. During this time, many insurance companies shift the blame or attempt to shift the blame to other drivers in an attempt to reduce their own liabilities. That is why it is so important to have an experienced Northern Colorado car accident lawyer on your side from the very start.

In some cases, more than one driver may be held accountable which means they will all share part of the blame. When this happens, the insurance companies often determine the percentage of blame each driver holds. Meaning, if one driver is 10% at fault, another is 10% at fault, and another is 80% at fault, that will be how the insurance companies will pay. This can be very confusing for those who were not found to be negligent, having an experienced multi-car accident lawyer by your side will help you decipher the outcome and be sure you get the compensation you deserve.

In 2003, Colorado changed from a no-fault insurance state to a “fault” insurance state. This gave injured accident victims several options when attempting to recover compensation after an accident. The injured accident victim can file a claim with their insurance company, with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or can go to civil court and file a lawsuit against the other driver. An experienced Northern Colorado car accident attorney can accurately determine which driver’s insurance company you should file your claim against. It is important to know that many multi-vehicle collisions end up in litigation. This is why having a strong legal advocate by your side is so important.

Contact Our Experienced Northern Colorado Car Accident Lawyers

Hull & Zimmerman - North CO personal injury attorneysDriving safely is every driver’s responsibility. The best way to avoid a multi-car accident is to stay alert, keep safe distances away from other vehicles, and follow the rules of the road. If you see drivers who are erratic or distracted, do your best to avoid them, and if you are driving distracted, safely pull over so you can take care of those distractions before getting back behind the wheel.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Broomfield, Northglenn, Westminster, Thornton, or anywhere in Colorado, it is important to contact our experienced car accident attorneys immediately. At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., our committed lawyers are dedicated to the belief that everyone deserves justice. Contact us at (303) 423-1770 or (866) 385-3505.

We know that you have choices when it comes to hiring a personal attorney lawyer in the Denver area, we encourage you to read our testimonials and then call us for your free consultation.

Our wrongful death lawyers have extensive experience representing injured accident victims in Broomfield, Arvada, Superior, Lafayette, Louisville, Erie, Brighton, Commerce City, Northglenn, Westminster, Thornton, Longmont, and throughout Colorado.

 

 

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At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., we are honored to help accident victims in their time of need, and take our responsibility as personal injury lawyers incredibly seriously. We know how important it is for victims to secure the full and fair compensation they need following a serious accident, and that is why we take a hands-on, personalized approach to every case we handle.

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