Who is Liable in a Multi-Car Accident?

Car Accidents • April 30, 2023

If you live in New Jersey, it’s important to understand the state’s no-fault insurance system and how it applies to multi-car accidents. 

In the event of a car accident, each driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying their own medical expenses, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This is different from the traditional tort approach used in many other states, where the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying damages. This coverage is known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). 

In situations where PIP coverage isn’t enough to cover the full cost of damages, victims can sue the driver responsible for the accident if their injuries were serious enough.

Who Does The Victim Sue in a Multi-Car Accident?

In any accident, determining liability is critical in the process of seeking compensation. Multi-car accidents can be particularly difficult to determine liability because multiple drivers and factors are involved. It is essential to investigate the cause of the accident to ensure that all parties involved share the responsibility.

Multi-car pile-ups may have several drivers responsible for the accident. For instance, if the leading car is stationary, and other drivers cannot brake in time, all following drivers may share fault. Likewise, if vehicles do not maintain a safe braking distance from the cars traveling in front of them, more than one driver may be liable for the crash. 

Additionally, an accident can also occur when a large commercial truck experiences a mechanical malfunction, resulting in a cross-over collision with other vehicles. The trucking company and the manufacturer of the truck could both be held responsible for the accident depending on the circumstances. Outside parties such as road maintenance agencies could contribute to the accident, leading to partial liability on their part.

To determine liability, you should consider taking the following steps:

Provide An Account of The Accident

The first step in establishing fault in a multi-car accident is to provide an account of the accident to your personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your car accident lawyer in Jersey City will need to know all the details of the accident, including what happened leading up to the accident and what happened after. This will give them a good starting point for their investigation.

Gather Facts and Eyewitness Accounts

The next step is for your lawyer to gather facts and eyewitness accounts. Your lawyer will review police reports and gather information from other witnesses, including bystanders and drivers involved in the accident. This will help them create a clearer picture of what happened and who was responsible.

Investigate Evidence

Your lawyer will also investigate all evidence related to the accident. This might include reviewing photos of the accident scene, conducting accident reconstruction, or analyzing damage to the vehicles involved. They will use all of this information to establish who was at fault for the accident and who is liable for damages.

Field Inquiries from Opposing Counsel and Insurance Companies

Insurance companies may attempt to deflect blame onto you to avoid paying damages. Your personal injury lawyer will field inquiries from opposing counsel and insurance companies on your behalf. They will use their knowledge of the law to counter any attempts to shift blame.

Determine Liability

Ultimately, your lawyer will determine who is liable for the damages caused by the accident. It may be that multiple parties share fault, and in that case, your lawyer will work to allocate liability fairly. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

If you’ve been in a multi-car accident, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the process and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.