Liability in a car crash is confusing even in the most straightforward of scenarios. When someone rear-ends you or turns the wrong way on a one-way street, it is still possible for you to share some of the liability for the crash. This legal concept is known as comparative liability or negligence, and it assigns a portion of the blame to all of the people involved in a collision.
That determination can be much harder to make in a situation involving multiple vehicles. A multi-vehicle crash could have roots in the driving behaviors of each of the vehicles involved in the collision. Police may fail to properly assign responsibility at the time of the crash, particularly if inclement weather was a factor.
That may mean that you aren’t totally certain about who is liable for a recent collision. Sitting down to review the police report and discuss the situation with an Englewood attorney can give you more clarity.
Was one person clearly responsible for a chain of events?
Driving in heavy traffic or in bad weather requires that people make judgment calls. Sometimes, the decision could be about how much space to leave between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Other times, you may have to decide what speed is appropriate for road conditions.
You could be driving in a safe and reasonable manner, only to have someone else improperly read the situation and crash into you. If you were driving in proximity to another vehicle, someone striking you from the side or the rear could result in your vehicle crashing into another car.
If there is direct evidence that one person caused the multiple car crash, then you may have grounds to pursue compensation from that driver or their estate if they died.
You can still see compensation even if you are partly responsible
Perhaps one person initiated the crash, but law enforcement or insurance adjusters determined that you were also partially responsible. Maybe you were driving a little faster than was safe or perhaps you were just too close to the car in front of you. In that scenario, you will likely receive an allocation of comparative liability expressed in a percentage of the total fault for the crash.
Provided that your personal liability is less than 50%, you can still pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. However, the final award you receive from the courts will reflect your partial liability for the collision. Talking about a complicated accident with an experienced lawyer can help you make more informed decisions about your rights and options after a crash involving multiple other vehicles.