Recovering Compensation in a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident
Multi-vehicle car accidents can be among the worst types of accidents. When multiple vehicles are involved, extensive property damage and severe injuries can result. Unfortunately, multi-vehicle accidents are not uncommon in the greater Charlotte area. If you have been involved in a multi-vehicle accident, we recommend consulting with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers after you seek medical treatment. Multiple-vehicle accidents can be complicated, and determining which driver or drivers are at fault can be difficult. The more time your lawyer has to investigate your accident, the better.Determining Fault in a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident
When multiple vehicles are involved in a car accident, determining who is at fault can be even more challenging than two-car collisions. Most motor vehicle accidents only involve two vehicles, or they involve a vehicle and a pedestrian or a bicyclist. Nonetheless, there are a significant number of car accidents involving three or more vehicles every year. The first step in recovering compensation involves investigating the case and determining liability.
Under North Carolina law, drivers who fail to drive reasonably under the circumstances are financially responsible for the injuries they cause. If you are the victim of a multi-vehicle car accident, you will need to prove that the at-fault driver's negligence or recklessness caused the car accident that resulted in your injuries. Multi-vehicle car accidents come with significant challenges in recovering the total amount of compensation you deserve. Our skilled Charlotte area car accident lawyers can help you investigate your case and gather the evidence you need to prove liability and recover compensation, including the following:
- The police report that was taken by the officer who investigated the car accident
- Any photos that were taken at the scene of the car accident
- Any CCTV footage or cell phone video footage that captured the accident
- Statements from eyewitnesses to the car accident
- Statements from other passengers and drivers
- Any “black box” data from the vehicle
- Cell phone records to determine whether one or more drivers was texting while driving
In some cases, your attorney will need to work with an accident reconstruction specialist after the multi-vehicle collision. Accident reconstruction specialists use evidence such as the damage on the cars, skid marks, and video footage to reconstruct the accident and determine who was at fault. Insurance companies conduct their investigation of the car accident, but they do not always come to the same conclusion as you and your attorney will. You need an attorney on your side who will conduct an independent investigation and gather the evidence needed to prove your case.
A thorough investigation is critical because it helps you and your attorney narrow down whom you should sue for compensation. In some cases, the investigation could reveal that the driver who caused the multi-vehicle accident worked for a larger corporation. If this is the case, you may be able to bring a legal claim against the at-fault driver's employer. Under North Carolina law, businesses have a legal duty to use reasonable care when hiring commercial drivers. If the employer failed to do a background check or hired an employee despite warning signs, such as a DUI conviction, you may be able to recover against the employer. Businesses often carry more insurance coverage than individuals, which can help you recover the compensation you deserve.North Carolina’s Contributory Negligence Law
North Carolina is one of only a few states that still use the doctrine of contributory negligence. This legal doctrine prevents injured victims from recovering compensation if they are responsible for the car accident. Even if you are determined to be 1% at fault for the car accident, you cannot recover any compensation.
Insurance companies use this legal doctrine to their advantage by telling victims that they will not recover compensation because they were at fault. Because of this strict contributory negligence doctrine, working with an experienced lawyer is even more critical to succeeding in your case. You need an aggressive attorney who can gather evidence showing that you are not at fault for your accident at all.Contact a Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Today
In North Carolina, car accident victims only have three years from the date of their accident to file a compensation claim. The sooner you speak with an experienced lawyer, the more time your lawyer will have to investigate your multi-vehicle accident and advocate for your right to compensation. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your free initial consultation by calling us at 855.370.2828.