Who is At Fault in a Multi-Car Accident?

Who is At Fault in a Multi-Car Accident?

multi car crash in Virginia

Determining fault in a two-car accident can be complicated enough, with conflicting stories and evidence from multiple sources. When you have accidents with more than two cars, though, the process becomes even more complex. Figuring out who is at fault and how much fault each individual has is crucial, since you cannot recover compensation until you know who is liable for your injuries.

If you’ve been injured in a multi-car accident, learn more about your options now. Call Pack Law Group at 540-586-7225.

Dispelling Myths

First, let’s dispel one common myth that comes up in these discussions. One commonly repeated belief is that the last car in a pileup is automatically at fault for the damage suffered by the other drivers and vehicles in the accident. This is not always true. Every accident has different circumstances and factors, so there’s rarely a one-size-fits-all answer.

Figuring Out Liability

Consider a rear-end pileup, which is one of the most common types of multi-car accidents. If Car A stops at a stoplight and Car B does not notice that they’ve stopped until too late, they strike Car A. However, Car C (which is behind Car B) was following too closely and strikes Car B, causing damage to both Car B and Car A. Car D strikes Car C, causing further damage to all three cars.

Consider another type of rear-end pileup. Cars A, B, and C are stopped at a stoplight, waiting patiently. Car D comes up too fast, notices the stopped cars too late, and slams into Car C. This pushes Car C into Car B and pushes Car B into Car A.

In the first case, liability is quite complicated. Car B is responsible for most of the damage suffered by Car A and its occupants. However, Car C was also negligent, and they are liable or some of the damage suffered by Car B and a small amount of the damage caused to Car A. Car D holds some liability for the damage to all of the involved vehicles.

In the second case, Car D is likely responsible for all of the damage caused to all of the vehicles. This is the typical case people think of when they cite the myth discussed above. However, even this is not cut-and-dry. There may be liability among some of the stopped cars as well. If they did not leave enough space between themselves and the vehicle in front of them, some of the liability may fall to them.

Virginia Laws Concerning Compensation for Damages

Some states allow you to receive compensation proportionate to the amount of liability you have. In an accident that caused you $100,000 of damage where you were found 10% at fault, you would theoretically receive $90,000.

However, in Virginia you cannot receive any compensation for the accident if you are found to have any portion of blame for the accident. Obviously, this complicates matters quite a bit. Even if you did almost nothing wrong, you could end up with nothing if your case goes to court.

Luckily, most personal injury cases do not go to court. The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled before a lawsuit is even filed. This is true even with multi-car accidents. Yes, insurance companies do not want to end up paying more than they need to because of their client’s actions; but they also don’t want to end up in court for months over a multi-car accident. This situation would cost all involved parties tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, which no insurance company wants to deal with.

To protect your best interests in this case, you need a personal injury lawyer with previous experience in multi-car accidents. There will be a lot of finger-pointing in these types of cases, so you must choose an attorney who can stand their ground.

Let Pack Law Group Help

At Pack Law Group, we represent clients aggressively throughout the entire personal injury claim process. Our goal is to recover as much compensation as possible for you. To discuss your next steps and find out how we can help you, call us at 540-586-7225 or get in touch online.

How Catastrophic Injuries Impact Families

How Catastrophic Injuries Impact Families

catastrophic injury attorney in Bedford, Virginia

Catastrophic injuries go beyond the regular bone breaks and abrasions that occur after a car crash, slip and fall, or other type of accident. Catastrophic or severe injuries are those that permanently impact an individual’s ability to live independently, work in the capacity they once worked in, or carry out activities of daily life.

These injuries can have a ripple effect on every part of an individual’s life, from their work and their role as a provider to their social life. Whether you have suffered this type of injury or someone you love is going through it, knowing what to expect can make the process easier. For help with your legal needs during this time, contact Pack Law Group at 540-586-7225 to schedule a consultation.

The Immediate Aftermath of an Accident

In the hours and days after an accident, the family members of the injured individual will likely experience enormous emotional trauma. Many catastrophic injuries involve damage to the spinal cord or brain, so the victim may be comatose or awake but in excruciating pain. The unknown is the biggest fear during this stage, since the prognosis for such a serious injury often takes months or years to become clear.

The financial impact of an injury may start to make itself clear at this stage, as well. Many American families live paycheck to paycheck, and if the injured individual was a primary provider for the family, the sudden loss of income could mean unpaid bills, threats of eviction, and limited resources for the family.

Finding a New Normal

As the individual begins to heal and get the therapy that they need to regain some physical independence, the family may struggle to find a new normal. This may mean a stay-at-home spouse getting back into the workforce, moving in with family members to lower expenses, or selling off assets to make it through.

This time can also cause tension or emotional strain in the family as each family member’s roles change. Children who once had the support of both parents may suddenly have to take on more household duties, entertain themselves or younger siblings while their other parent is at work, or provide emotional support to the parent who suddenly lost the help of their spouse. The non-injured spouse may have to provide physical care to the injured spouse, causing a shift in the power balance of the relationship and stirring up tension or shame.

Long-Term Effects

Unfortunately, catastrophic injuries often stay with individuals for the rest of their lives. The long-term effects on families depend largely on the makeup of the family, their commitment to getting through challenging times intact, and their ability to work together. The shift in the power balance may end up being permanent, as one spouse requires physical care and loses their ability to financially provide. The relationship between the injured parent and the children may change if the injured parent is unavailable to provide help with schoolwork, transportation, or other types of support they provided in the past.

However, much of this can be worked through and is manageable with the right resources, such as family counseling, live-in caretakers, and job training. That’s why it’s important to reach out to a personal injury lawyer after a catastrophic injury.

Any settlement the injured party receives shouldn’t just be enough to cover their current medical bills. It should also cover the costs of their new life going forward, from medical equipment and adaptive equipment to lost income and household help. Calculating these numerous costs is challenging, and a skilled catastrophic injuries attorney can help you understand the full costs of the accident and what the other party may be expected to pay.

Let Pack Law Group Help You Through This Challenging Time

A catastrophic injury may change your family forever, but with hard work and commitment, you can work through this time. Financial support is key when you have lost a working member of the household or when any member of the household has incredibly high medical expenses, which is why a personal injury suit is often the best way to prepare for life with a catastrophic injury. To discuss your options and get started, reach out to Pack Law Group online or call us at 540-586-7225.