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Navigating Fault and Liability in Multi-Vehicle Automobile Accidents

By Jeremy Bradford
Founding Partner

Any motor vehicle accident can bring devastating consequences. Between painful physical injuries and overwhelming financial burdens, it can be hard to move forward. After an accident, many victims consider filing personal injury claims against those responsible. These claims can help victims recover compensation to help ease some of the financial struggles they face.

All car accident claims can be complicated, but those arising from accidents involving multiple other vehicles can present some unique challenges, especially when it comes to determining who was at fault.

Understanding Fault in Multi-Vehicle Accidents

In an automobile accident, fault refers to the responsibility for causing the crash. Determining fault in multi-vehicle accidents can be challenging since they involve several drivers and may have multiple causes or contributing factors. When determining fault, several types of evidence can help provide insight into the events leading up to the accident. These include:

  • Police Reports – Officers responding to the scene will document their observations, including statements from drivers and witnesses, road conditions, and vehicle positions. They may also offer their opinion on who was at fault.
  • Eyewitness Testimony – Witnesses can provide information surrounding what they saw leading up to the accident.
  • Traffic Laws – Evidence of any violations of traffic laws, such as whether a driver was speeding or ran a red light, can provide insight into their role in the accident.
  • Accident Reconstruction – Experts may be called in to reconstruct the accident and provide a detailed analysis of how it occurred.
  • Number of Impacts – Analyzing the number and sequence of impacts can help establish the chain of events and determine who initiated the collision and whether subsequent impacts were avoidable or caused by the initial crash.

Recovering Compensation

Victims can seek compensation after a multi-vehicle accident in Charlotte by pursuing a personal injury claim. These claims provide victims with money for both economic and non-economic losses. Some recoverable economic losses include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical costs
  • Property damage
  • Rental car expenses
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Home modification costs
  • Household services
  • Legal fees

Some recoverable non-economic losses include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical impairment
  • Loss of companionship
  • Psychological trauma

Shared Liability and Its Implications for Victims

Establishing fault and liability in multi-vehicle accidents is not always straightforward. Factors such as the sequence of events, traffic conditions, driver actions, and potential contributing factors must be carefully examined to determine who is responsible for the collision. Each driver’s degree of fault plays a critical role in determining liability and the extent of compensation they may be entitled to receive.

In many multi-vehicle accidents, liability may be divided based on each party’s degree of fault. However, it is important to understand that if you played a role in causing the accident, you may be unable to recover any compensation. This is because North Carolina follows the doctrine of contributory negligence. This law states that those found to be even 1 percent responsible for their accidents cannot recover any damages. This makes it imperative to prove that one or more defendants are responsible for your resulting injuries and expenses.

The Benefits of Working with an Attorney

Working with an attorney after a multi-vehicle accident can provide several advantages. One of the biggest benefits comes with having an experienced legal advocate investigate the collision. Attorneys often know what evidence to look for when proving fault after an accident. They use this knowledge to analyze various factors surrounding the accident to determine any contributing factors.

Additionally, attorneys can access valuable resources that can further strengthen your case. A knowledgeable Charlotte car accident lawyer will have access to experts who can recreate the accident. They will also know how to contact medical professionals who can testify to the connection between the accident and your injuries. Finally, your attorney will review all records related to the accident to determine the total value of your claim.

Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers Today

If you are dealing with the aftermath of a multi-vehicle accident, contact the Charlotte car accident lawyers at Bradford Law for a free consultation to discuss your situation and your legal options.

About the Author
I am Jeremy Bradford, the founding and managing attorney of Bradford Law. From my offices in Charlotte, NC, I travel all across North Carolina helping injured people fight against insurance companies, in what could be life-altering circumstances. I have made a point to develop strong relationships with my clients. I take the trust my clients put in me personally and put myself into every case. If my client calls, my client will always be able to speak directly with me. You will get to know me as we work our way through the personal injury process. So when we make recommendations on whether to settle or go to trial, you will know your best interests are always at heart.