How to Handle a Motor Vehicle Pileup CaseLast updated on: March 8, 2021
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A motor vehicle pileup accident is a chain reaction between more than a single car or two cars. These accidents can be complex and involve multiple parties. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle pileup accident in Texas, you may be entitled to compensation.
Any car accident can cause severe damage, but a pileup car accident can cause even more damage and can leave you wondering how to handle such a large accident.
How Should I Handle a Motor Vehicle Pileup Accident?
You should handle car accidents of this magnitude just as you would any other car accident. Remain calm and stay at the scene until the police arrive. Dial 911 if anyone is injured. If possible, move your car out of the way and onto the shoulder to avoid causing additional collisions.
In a motor vehicle pileup accident, there will be more parties involved than a regular one or two-car crash. This means that you will need to gather information from more people. Try your best to gather the contact information from each driver as well as collect insurance information from each. Keep this information organized so that you can refer to it later.
Take multiple pictures of the scene and from different angles. Take a picture of each car involved in the pileup. This will help understand the scene of the accident later if your memory fades.
Multiple parties mean multiple insurance agencies to speak to and possibly recover from. This may become challenging and overwhelming. Each insurance agency will need to assign a percentage of fault to each driver before they can determine a payout. Do not agree to any settlements from any insurance company before you have spoken to a Texas motor vehicle pileup attorney.
Do not admit fault to any of the other drivers or any of the insurance agencies. Do not post details of the accident on social media and try to refrain from speaking to others about the accident. Insurance agencies will try to find ways to reduce your claim, so do not say anything that could harm your case.
Be sure to contact a motor vehicle pileup attorney in Texas. The sooner you speak with an attorney, the sooner your claim can be assessed. An attorney is able to speak to insurance agencies on your behalf and may be able to help organize your case.
What is a Pileup Car Accident?
A pileup car accident involves multiple vehicles. These types of accidents can happen if you are rear-ended by a car which then pushes you into the car in front of yours. In this situation, you may feel helpless and may have damage to your car that was caused by no fault of your own.
Many motor vehicle pileup car accidents occur on the highways because of the faster speed of traffic and multiple cars. A car accident between just two cars can easily cause a chain reaction that quickly involves multiple cars.
Who is Responsible in a Multi-vehicle Accident?
Vehicle pileups that involve multiple drivers may leave some drivers wondering if they were at fault. Some parties will be more at fault than others. Factors such as weather conditions, following too closely to the vehicle in front of you, and road conditions may affect responsibility. Insurance agencies will assign a percentage of fault to each driver and this will help calculate how many damages you may be able to seek.
Some weather conditions such as black ice may cause drivers to slide and hit multiple vehicles or push other vehicles into someone else. This domino effect may create a pileup. Some of the drivers may not be at fault if the accident was outside of their control. However, these parties may still be legally responsible for the damages they caused.
Causes of Motor Vehicle Pileup Accidents
Motor vehicle pileup accidents usually occur as a chain reaction. Factors could include weather, road conditions, or distracted driving.
Bad weather, such as black ice, which can form in cold conditions, can lead to multi-vehicle pileups. Sliding on ice can make steering difficult or impossible and can send your car in a direction that causes an accident. Fog or rain can also affect visibility, which may contribute to an accident. Winter weather requires drivers to be more careful when they drive to avoid accidents.
Distracted driving can involve eating while driving, texting while driving, or driving while drowsy. Distracted driving can be anything that takes away your focus from the road. Distracted drivers have slower reaction times and could make motor vehicle pileup accidents more likely to happen.
Driving Under the Influence
A person can be driving under the influence if they have had any amount of alcohol to drink or if they are on medication. Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal if the blood alcohol concentration is at .08% or higher, but driving abilities can be affected before this limit is reached. A crash caused by the driver being impaired could lead to a multi-vehicle pileup if the driver fails to stop at an intersection.
Reckless driving includes behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, and road rage. These reckless driving actions may cause a crash with a pileup chain reaction if they occur on the highway. Sudden weaving in between lanes going at speeds over the limit or sudden stopping may cause an accident that involves multiple cars.
A rear-end collision that occurs at an intersection may cause a pileup car accident. If a stopped car is rear-ended, they may be pushed into the car in front of them who is also stopped. That car may then be pushed into another car, causing a multi-vehicle pileup.
Texas motor vehicle pileups most often happen on busy Texas highways. This is because cars are going at a fast speed and stopping or slowing is harder to happen quickly. A single impact between two cars can easily become a second and third impact, involving multiple vehicles. Multi-vehicle pileups also often occur at intersections where cars are stopped at a red light or when a car enters the intersection against traffic.
How to Prevent Pileup Car Accidents
Always be sure to drive carefully and cautiously. In inclement weather, drive slower than you normally would, and make sure to allow for extra space between you and the driver in front of you. Allow enough time to brake slowly if in icy conditions. If you have been involved in a car accident, move your car out of the road to prevent another car from hitting you.
What Recovery MAY I Seek from a Motor Vehicle Pileup Accident?
The legal basis of your claim will be based on a theory of negligence. A negligence claim requires that the other driver owed you a duty, they failed to exercise that duty, and because of that failure, you were harmed.
Recovery of damages will be different for each person. There is no average amount recoverable because each car accident is unique. You may have hospital bills, prescription pain medication, lost wages, or property damage to your vehicle. These are all expenses that may be recoverable.
The severity of injuries will also determine your damages. Whether you have minor whiplash or major spinal damage, temporary injuries, or long-lasting impairments, all of your injuries will need to be assessed.
Multi-vehicle car pileups involve multiple parties, some of whom may be less at fault than others. This may affect insurance settlements and how much you may recover. Texas follows a 50% comparative fault rule. This means that you must be determined to be 50% or less at fault to recover any damages.
Texas Car Accident Laws
Texas law requires drivers to file a crash report within 10 days of an accident if it was not investigated by police and resulted in injury, death, or property damage greater than $1,000. The statute of limitations, or the deadline for filing a claim, is two years in Texas. The two-year period begins on the date of the car accident.
Get Help from Texas Car Crash Lawyers
At Zinda Law Group, our Texas motor vehicle pileup lawyers are experienced and have handled many cases involving pileup car crashes. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you determine what to do next and to help recover the best possible outcome for your case.
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