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How Is Liability Determined in a Multi-car Accident in Los Angeles

If you have been involved in a multi-car accident, you may be wondering how responsibility will be determined. Which insurance company will pay for the damage to your car and your injuries? Is it always the person who hit you who’s at fault, or could you share some blame, too?

Below, a Los Angeles car accident attorney explains how liability is typically determined in such cases.

Understanding Liability in a Multi-car Accident

In a multi-car accident, determining who’s at fault can get complicated. The police will investigate the details of the crash to figure out who caused the accident. They’ll consider things like witness statements, traffic camera footage, and skid marks on the road to recreate what happened.

Eyewitness Accounts

Eyewitnesses to the crash can provide valuable insight into how the accident unfolded. The police will interview anyone who saw what happened, like passengers in the vehicles involved as well as bystanders. They’ll look for consistent details across accounts to determine the sequence of events.

Traffic Cameras

Traffic cameras monitor many major roads and intersections in LA. The footage from these cameras may show how the vehicles collided and pinpoint the car that started the chain reaction. Cameras can also capture things like a driver running a red light or swerving into another lane.

Vehicle Damage and Skid Marks

The damage to the vehicles and any skid marks on the road also provide clues to what happened. The police can use these physical details to calculate how fast the cars were going and their positions before the accident. By piecing together all this information, the police can usually determine which driver’s actions directly caused the multi-car pileup.

Factors That Determine Fault in a Chain Reaction Crash

Determining liability in a multivehicle accident can get complicated, especially when it’s a chain reaction crash. Several factors come into play to assess fault for all parties involved.

Road Conditions

If poor road conditions like icy roads, wet pavement, or obstructed visibility contributed to the accident, it may be hard to pin blame on any one driver. However, if a driver was speeding or tailgating in those conditions, they would likely share more of the fault.

a chain accident results in complex liability

Following Too Closely

If a driver rear-ends another vehicle because they were following too closely to stop in time, they would typically be considered primarily at fault for starting the chain of events. The damages and injuries to other vehicles and passengers would be the responsibility of the first driver who failed to maintain a safe following distance.

Distracted Driving

If a driver was distracted by their phone, entertainment system, or other devices at the time of the accident, they would likely shoulder most of the blame for the crash, especially if the distraction caused them to react slowly or swerve into other lanes. The damages and harm that resulted from their lack of attention and focus would become their responsibility.

Using Accident Reconstruction Experts for Complex Cases

Accident reconstruction experts are critical for determining liability in major multi-car collisions. Their job is to piece together what happened by examining physical evidence from the scene, like skid marks, debris, and damage to the vehicles involved.

Examining the Physical Evidence

The first thing an accident reconstructionist will do is thoroughly document the accident scene. They’ll measure skid marks and gouges in the road, take photos from many angles, and note the final position of all vehicles.

Calculating Speed and Impact Forces

By measuring skid mark lengths, an expert can calculate how fast each vehicle was traveling before braking. They can also estimate impact speed by the amount of crush damage to the vehicles. Knowing the weights of the cars involved, they can then determine the forces generated at each impact.

Reach Out to an Experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in a multi-car accident in LA, you know how confusing and stressful the aftermath can be. There are so many parties involved, and it can be difficult to determine who’s actually at fault for the collision. The best way to make sure your rights are protected is to get an experienced lawyer on your side.

With an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer handling your case, you can focus on recovering from your injuries. You don’t have to deal with phone calls, paperwork, or legal procedures. Your attorney and their staff will take care of everything for you while you rest and get the medical treatment you need. Call us today to get started—we handle the legal end of things so you can get your life back on track.

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