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In a multi-car pileup, who is at fault?

After a multi-car accident, it may seem impossible to sort out the mess and figure out who was at fault. Typically, when several cars are involved in a wreck, insurance companies will point the finger at the car in the rear. This is because drivers are supposed to maintain a safe distance behind the vehicle in front them. However, when a multi-vehicle crash occurs, it ca be a bit more difficult to determine which driver is responsible.

Determining cause

When law enforcement arrives on the scene after a pileup, officers will examine the details. This might include weather and road conditions, the location of each car involved, and the damage that occurred. Officers will often try to figure out which driver was negligent and caused the wreck and what kind of role other drivers may have played.

Once the police are able to make a determination, they will more than likely issue a citation to the driver that was responsible. While it is usually the fault of one individual, sometimes two or more drivers had a hand in causing the wreck.

When this happens, police will usually indicate the amount of responsibility each driver should bear. For example, the police might determine that one driver is 80 percent responsible for the accident and another is 20 percent responsible. In some cases, all the cars involved share in the fault. Of course, the more cars that are part of the wreck, the more complicated it becomes for officers to determine fault.

Don't exit your car until it is safe to do so

If you become involved in a multi-car accident, you should stay inside your vehicle with your seatbelt in place. Check on your passengers and make sure they are also belted in. When a car accident like this happens, your vehicle might have been hit multiple times.

For your safety, remain in your car until law enforcement or other first responders give you the all-clear to exit the vehicle. While you wait for help to arrive, turn your hazards on to make your car more visible. If possible, once you are in a safe place, try to organize your thoughts about what happened. You will more than likely have to give a statement to the police and your car insurance company.

Knowing what to do when a multi-car accident occurs can save you and your passengers from further injuries. When it comes time to file your car accident claim, your attorney will be able to help you through the process so that you can take care of the medical expenses and other damages associated with the accident.

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