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Who is at Fault in a North Carolina Chain Reaction Car Accident?

Chain reaction car accidents can be some of the most dangerous and harmful motor vehicle accidents. A chain-reaction car accident happens when one car collides with a second car, which causes the second car collides with a third car. Chain reaction car accidents can involve over 10 vehicles. If the chain-reaction car accident happens on a North Carolina freeway, the consequences are often deadly due to the large volume of cars and the high speeds of the cars involved. Multiple vehicle accidents often involve rear-end collisions, a type of accident that frequently results in whiplash and neck injuries.

Multiple-Vehicle Car Accident Attorneys

If you have suffered an injury in a chain-reaction car accident, you may be wondering who is at-fault for your injuries. Determining liability in a chain-reaction car accident can be challenging. Additionally, in North Carolina, if an injured person is even 1% at fault for the accident, the court will bar the victim from recovering compensation. When it comes to determining who is at fault in a multiple-vehicle Charlotte car accident, the stakes are high. It is even more essential that you hire a skilled car accident attorney to fight for your best interests.

Different Types of Multiple Vehicle Car Accidents

Typically, chain vehicle accidents start with a single collision. Sometimes, when cars are stopped at an intersection, a distracted driver might slam into a stopped car and push that car into the car in front of it. Alternatively, a domino effect can occur. In this situation, the cars may push the vehicle closest to the stoplight into the intersection. The car in the intersection can become exposed to oncoming traffic passing through the intersection at high speeds. The injuries resulting from an oncoming vehicle colliding with a vehicle in the crossing can be catastrophic.

A chain reaction accident can happen on the freeway when one vehicle veers unsafely into another lane and collides with an oncoming car. One of the cars could spin into the highway. Oncoming cars may not be able to stop or move in time and may collide with one or both of the cars. Drivers on the freeway are usually driving at high speeds, increasing the likelihood of a spark igniting during the collision and causing a dangerous fire.

Who is at Fault?

North Carolina is a fault-based state in terms of motor vehicle accidents. In fault-based states, the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company are liable for paying for the medical expenses, repairs, and other damages resulting from the motor vehicle accident. Thus, in North Carolina, the insurance of the at-fault driver must pay for bodily injuries and property damage caused by accident.

In chain-reaction car accidents that involve multiple vehicles, the at-fault driver is often the first drive that collided with another driver. Nonetheless, if a driver slows down unexpectedly, the drive behind him or her may not have time to prevent the collision. In this case, the driver who slowed down probably negligently caused the collision. The following are examples of one or multiple drivers being at-fault in a multiple-vehicle collision:

  • One or multiple drivers are distracted while driving. One distracted driver fails to stop in time and collides with the driver in front of him or her. Perhaps another distracted driver does not look up in time to see the accident and avoid it, causing the third collision. In this case, both of the distracted drivers are likely at fault.

  • If one of the drivers was speeding, failing to obey traffic signals, or making an improper lane change, he or she is likely at fault. Drivers who break traffic laws are almost always driving negligently in the view of the court.

  • Drivers who are tailgating or following the driver in front of them too closely may share liability in a multiple-vehicle accident. Even if the tailgating driver did not cause the first collision, he or she could still be liable. If the driver did not leave enough space between his or her car and the vehicle in front, he could also face liability.

  • In some instances, a local government or city may share liability for a multiple-vehicle pile-up. If a municipality failed to place warning signs or traffic signals properly or failed to maintain roads, the municipality and the driver could share liability.

We can Help

If you have suffered an injury in a multiple-vehicle car accident, our personal injury attorneys can help. Contact our office to schedule your free initial consultation today.

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