Anderson Injury Lawyers | September 20, 2022 | Car Accidents
Any car accident can result in severe injury and property damage. Whenever more than two cars are involved in a crash, the consequences can be even more significant, and it can become challenging to establish fault.
In Texas, multi-vehicle car accidents, also called “chain reaction accidents,” can happen at any time, especially when cars are involved in rear-end collisions. Understanding how chain reaction accidents occur is essential before you proceed with a claim.
If you’ve been involved in a multi-vehicle crash, learn more about how Texas laws may affect your options for recovering damages.
How Do Chain Reaction Car Accidents Occur?
As with most car accidents, the factors that result in an accident vary greatly and depend on the circumstances.
Some of these include:
- Distracted driving
- Poor road conditions
- Inclement weather
- DUI or DWI
- Reckless driving
- Vehicle malfunction
Chain-reaction accidents are more likely to happen in high-traffic areas, such as during rush hour or at busy intersections.
With over seven million residents, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area is a hotbed for potential crashes. In 2018, the Texas Department of Transportation reported 15,567 total crashes in Fort Worth.
Texas “At-Fault” Auto Insurance Provisions
Regarding car crashes and liability, Texas is an “at-fault” state. This means drivers who cause an accident are responsible for paying out damages to the affected parties.
In most situations, at-fault drivers will use their liability insurance to cover any medical bills and damages that result from a crash. Unfortunately, in many instances, there are limits to how much an insurance policy will pay. When the damages exceed these limits, victims can be left with additional expenses.
When you suffer significant losses or serious injuries, you may have to seek additional compensation by filing a lawsuit against the party or parties who caused the accident.
Establishing Responsibility in Multiple-Vehicle Crashes
In chain reaction accidents, you’ll have to establish who the responsible party is so you may proceed with an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Every car accident presents unique circumstances, especially when multiple vehicles are involved. Generally, the fault falls on the driver responsible for the first impact, but every case is different.
In a rear-end collision, one driver may have been texting and collided with a car in front, resulting in a multiple-car pile-up. In this scenario, the distracted driver will likely be responsible.
In other situations, more than one person may share fault due to circumstances like coincidental moving violations. Texas law enforcement will likely investigate the accident to determine what happened and who was responsible.
A crash investigation may involve any of the following:
- Reviewing surveillance footage
- Evaluating field sobriety tests
- Analyzing the crash scene
- Interviewing witnesses
- Reconstructing the accident
Additionally, insurance companies will likely conduct their own investigation to determine liability. Although much of the evidence that an insurance company uses will come directly from law enforcement, insurers may seek to gather extra facts and evidence in complex accidents involving multiple cars.
When you file a lawsuit and go to trial, your attorney may also hire experts to provide testimony that will help support your claim in front of a jury.
The Role of Comparative Negligence in Texas Car Crashes
Texas courts follow a “modified comparative negligence” rule whenever multiple drivers share responsibility for a crash.
You may file a lawsuit to recover damages as long as you share no more than 50% of the fault in a car crash. Under comparative fault statutes, a jury will determine the exact percentages of fault shared by each party and award damages and compensation based on these figures.