When you’re involved in a multi-car pileup on the freeway, how do you know who to hold liable for your injuries? How is liability determined in an Oklahoma multiple-car crash?
The law office of Bryan Garrett, PLLC, knows the ins and outs of filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit for a multi-vehicle accident, including liability, dealing with the insurance company, and comparative negligence laws in Oklahoma. Read on to learn more about this complex process.
What Is a Multiple Car Crash?
Any accident involving three or more vehicles would be a multiple-car crash. This could describe any of several incidents, including:
- A multi-vehicle intersection crash
- A multi-vehicle rear-end collision
- A multi-vehicle lane change collision
- A freeway pileup
Because multi-car crashes involve several contributing factors, it’s not always easy to determine who caused the initial accident. Did a driver on the highway fail to yield to merging traffic? Did one driver cut another off and not leave braking distance? Did two drivers merging from either side of a center lane try to occupy the same space?
Determining Liability for a Multiple Car Crash
Liability often does not rest on one driver in a multiple-car crash. Several drivers may share fault for multiple car crash incidents in a chain reaction accident. Other factors may also contribute to the accident, including poor weather conditions. Fog may reduce visibility, while rain, sleet, or snow may create hazardous road conditions.
Police and insurance adjusters will investigate the accident scene and take witness statements to determine the cause of the accident and who was responsible.
Filing a Claim With Car Insurance in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is an at-fault state for auto accidents. This means that victims usually file claims under the at-fault driver’s policy rather than their own. Victims typically have three options to seek compensation for their injuries after an accident:
- Filing a claim with their own insurance company in a first-party claim while their insurance company recoups the claim in subrogation with the at-fault party’s insurance company later
- Filing a third-party claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company under their liability policy
- Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party for additional damages beyond their policy limits that their insurance company will pay if you win or reach a settlement
Comparative Fault in a Multiple Car Crash
When determining liability in a multiple-car crash, Oklahoma splits the percentage of fault between liable parties responsible for the accident. For instance, if three drivers caused a multiple-car pileup, and one driver was 35% responsible, one was 25% responsible, and the other was 40% responsible, each will be liable for that amount of the total damages.
Comparative liability also applies to victims in multiple-car crashes in Oklahoma. For example, if you weren’t wearing your seatbelt and suffered injuries when you were thrown from the vehicle, you may be partly responsible for your injuries.
You must be less than 50% responsible for injuries sustained in an accident to seek compensation for your injuries and property damage. If the court determines that you were more than 50% responsible for your injuries, you may not receive compensation.
Injured in a Multiple Car Crash in Oklahoma? Call the Law Office of Bryan Garrett, PLLC
There are several contributing factors that police and insurance inspectors will consider to determine who was responsible. If you were involved in a multi-car pileup in Oklahoma, contact us at the law office of Bryan Garrett, PLLC, to schedule a free initial consultation.