Determining fault in any car accident can be challenging, and when multiple vehicles are involved, the claims become more complex and it can be difficult to prove negligence.
If the accident was in Oklahoma, an Oklahoma car accident injury attorney can help you define the facts, file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, and negotiate with insurance companies. An attorney can protect your interests and get you help you may need for injuries or damages that insurance may be reluctant to fund.
What is a Multiple Vehicle Crash?
While an accident typically involves only two cars, a multi-vehicle crash occurs between three or more vehicles. In fact, there’s no limit to the number of cars, trucks, or motorcycles that could be involved, and proving fault gets even more complicated in the event of a pile-up (which involves at least six cars).
Various circumstances can lead to multi-vehicle crashes, including:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Rain and snowstorms
- Fog or other poor visibility conditions
- Dangerous road conditions
Potential At-Fault Parties in a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident
Like any accident, assigning fault is necessary to determine who will be responsible for paying your lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and loss of enjoyment of life (where applicable).
Depending on the circumstances, one or more drivers could be at fault. It’s even possible for someone who was not driving to be responsible.
The potentially liable parties include:
- The drivers: In a multi-vehicle crash, it’s possible that only one driver caused the incident (like a chain reaction, for example). However, fault can also be shared if multiple drivers’ negligent or reckless behavior contributed to the crash.
- A law firm will help you determine how fault should ideally be apportioned. For example, one person could be 60% responsible, and another could be 40% responsible. You would be eligible to recover compensation from both drivers based on their percentage of fault (up to the total amount of your damages).
Even if you are partially responsible for the wreck, you could still be compensated under Oklahoma’s comparative fault standard. For example, if you share 10% of the blame, your compensation would be reduced by that percentage of fault assigned.
- Government entities: City, state, and federal governments have a duty to maintain roads in safe conditions. If the government violated this duty, they may be at fault.
- Manufacturers: If the cause of the accident was defective parts, a car or parts manufacturer could also be responsible for your injuries. Mechanics, safety inspectors, and maintenance workers could also share responsibility.
Proving Fault in Car Accidents with Multiple Parties
There are several steps in determining who is at-fault for a multi-vehicle crash. The process is similar to a two-car accident, but the addition of multiple parties can add complications.
When you hire a law firm, one of the first steps will be to investigate the accident. Your attorney will do a deep dive into the facts of the case to determine who can be assigned fault. This can involve the following:
- Interview witnesses. Your attorney will review witness statements and conduct follow-up interviews when applicable.
- Speak with law enforcement. After reviewing the police report, your personal injury attorney may speak with the officer(s) at the scene for the purpose of gathering evidence or clarifying details.
- Visit the accident scene. Forensic or additional evidence might be at the scene that wasn’t originally documented in the police report.
- Interview experts. To help prove your case and maximize compensation, your attorney may consult with doctors, forensic scientists, and other expert witnesses.
Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney in OklahomaAt Bryan Garrett, PLLC, we protect the rights of accident victims, and we remain vigilantly by your side. Contact us by phone or online today at 405.972.6960 to schedule a free consultation.