Determining Fault and Finding Help After a Multi-Car Accident

Determining Fault and Finding Help After a Multi-Car Accident

Determining fault for a car accident is essential to receive compensation in Colorado. But when crashes involve multiple vehicles, identifying who should be held liable gets complicated. Insurance companies try to wriggle out of making fair payouts by pushing responsibility for the collision onto the other drivers — and they’ll probably blame you, too.

Colorado negligence laws can prevent you from obtaining compensation if any party successfully proves you bear the most responsibility for a crash. You don’t want to lose out on money you are rightfully owed. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve.

The lawyers at Earl & Earl, PLLC, are skilled advocates for victims of complex collisions. We have the resources to investigate a multi-vehicle accident and collect persuasive evidence to prove your case. Our attorneys can identify every party at fault for the crash and demand maximum compensation for you at the negotiating table or at trial.

If you were injured in an accident involving several vehicles, let our legal team help you pursue accountability and justice for what you’ve been through. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.

How Do Insurance Companies Handle Multi-Car Crashes?

After a traffic accident, the insurance company will examine how each driver’s actions may have contributed to the collision. Then, each driver is assigned a percentage of fault reflecting their portion of responsibility for the wreck. The driver with the largest share of the blame is liable for compensating any injured parties for their losses. That money typically comes from the at-fault driver’s insurance company and pays up to the driver’s policy limits.

Determining fault is usually straightforward in most two-vehicle collisions. That’s because there are fewer facts to consider. But the more vehicles involved in a crash, the closer each driver’s actions must be analyzed.

Insurance companies make their profits by collecting more in premiums than they pay out in claims. When multiple vehicles are involved in an accident, each driver’s insurance company has a vested interest in minimizing their policyholder’s share of fault and assigning it elsewhere. And with so many actions to account for and each driver telling their own version of events, it can be challenging to establish fault in a multi-car crash.

To prove another driver or multiple other drivers were at fault and successfully pursue compensation from their insurer, you need strong evidence that shows how the accident happened and who caused it. An attorney can collect that evidence while you recover from your injuries.

Establishing Fault in a Multi-Vehicle Accident

To establish fault, a car accident attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to determine how each driver’s actions contributed to the crash.

Potential evidence in a multi-vehicle accident case includes:

  • The police accident report
  • Photos from the crash scene
  • Surveillance video, dashcam, and traffic camera videos
  • Witness statements
  • Drivers’ statements
  • Cell phone records
  • Vehicle maintenance records
  • Expert testimony
  • Pay stubs, bills, receipts, and other documentation to demonstrate accident-related financial losses

Using this evidence, your multi-car accident attorney can determine liability and take steps to minimize your responsibility (if any) for the wreck.

Why are Witnesses Important?

All of the drivers in a multi-car accident are biased witnesses. Whether consciously or subconsciously, they may omit or downplay their role in causing the crash.

On the other hand, third-party witnesses are neutral observers. They have no financial interest in the case’s outcome, so their testimony carries more weight with the insurance company, judges, and juries.

Expert witnesses are also vital assets in multi-vehicle accident claims. Understanding the chain of events that led to the wreck may require analyzing scientific evidence from the crash scene. Our personal injury law firm works with top accident reconstruction specialists and uses state-of-the-art technology to show who is at fault for multi-vehicle crashes.

No-Fault vs. At-Fault States

Every state has a system for awarding compensation to accident victims.

  • No-fault system: In a no-fault system, accident victims turn to their own insurance companies for compensation after an accident. Their insurer pays for their accident-related losses regardless of who is responsible for the crash. In a no-fault state, the right to sue the at-fault party is limited to specific circumstances outlined by state law.
  • At-fault system: In at-fault states, the negligent driver is responsible for compensating anyone injured in a crash. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay compensation according to their policyholder’s degree of fault.

Colorado is an at-fault state. Multi-car accident victims can seek compensation from the driver(s) responsible for the accident, either through their insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit.

But what happens in cases of shared fault? When multiple parties are to blame, Colorado law says you can still receive compensation if you are not 50 percent or more responsible for a car accident. However, the amount you ultimately receive is reduced by the percentage of fault you are assigned for the crash.

What Should You Do After a Multi-Vehicle Crash?

After an accident, your top priority is your health. Before you do anything else, check everyone for injuries and call 911. If you’re able, taking the following steps can also protect your right to compensation:

  • Take photos: Take pictures of the accident scene from as many angles as possible. Include photos of the vehicle damage, your injuries, and any environmental evidence that may be relevant, such as skid marks, traffic control devices, and road conditions.
  • Obtain contact information: Get the name, address, phone number, and insurance information of every driver involved in the accident. Also, get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Write down your account of the accident: It’s best to write down your recollection of the crash while the memory is fresh.
  • Seek medical treatment: Always see a doctor after a crash, even if you feel fine. Some injuries may not be apparent but could worsen without prompt medical attention. Seeing a doctor also creates a record of your injuries that will be crucial for your case.
  • Hire a car accident lawyer: Many insurance issues arise after a multi-vehicle accident. An attorney can handle all communications with insurance adjusters and attorneys for you.

Get Help from an Experienced Colorado Attorney

Earl & Earl, PLLC is an accomplished Colorado personal injury law firm. Contact us today for a free case review if you suffered injuries in a multi-vehicle accident.

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