Rear-end collisions are incredibly common. Many times, a single rear-end collision can cause damage to multiple vehicles. If you’re rear-ended, the force of impact could send you crashing into the car in front of you. This is known as a chain reaction collision.
Have you been involved in a chain reaction collision in Los Angeles? If so, contact the experienced legal team at Citywide Law Group for immediate assistance. You could be responsible for some of the accident damage, even if you didn’t cause the initial rear-end crash.
Our personal injury lawyers can help to protect your legal rights while maximizing your financial award. Call our law firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
Determining Fault in a Chain Reaction Collision
A chain reaction collision is defined as an accident that involves three or more vehicles. In most situations, chain reaction accidents begin with a single rear-end collision.
Is the driver who causes this first rear-end collision always entirely responsible for the damage caused by a chain reaction crash? Not necessarily.
Comparative Negligence in California Car Accidents
California embraces the legal theory of comparative negligence. Anyone who is negligent and contributes to an accident can be liable for damages. In other words, more than one person can be responsible for causing a car accident.
When this happens, each negligent party can be on the hook for harm caused by the accident. The more you contribute to an accident, the more you’ll be responsible for paying for accident-related costs.
Comparative fault does not prohibit you from recovering comepnsation if you share some of the blame for an accident. However, your financial award will be reduced by the degree to which you are to blame.
Comparative Fault and Chain Reaction Collisions
Comparative fault is an important concept in chain reaction collision cases. Why? Many will be quick to blame the driver who caused the initial rear-end crash. However, others involved in the accident may also be partly responsible for the chain reaction. It is possible for drivers in the middle of a chain reaction collision to share some of the blame for the accident.
Example: Drivers A, B, and C are sitting at a red light at a Los Angeles intersection. Driver D isn’t paying attention and slams into the back end of Driver C. The force of the crash sends Driver C into the back of Driver B. Driver B is then forced forward into the back of Driver A.
The accident is all Driver D’s fault, right? Maybe not. If Drivers B and C didn’t leave an adequate cushion of space between vehicles at the stopped light, they might also be partly to blame.
What would happen if Drivers D, C, and B shared fault for the chain reaction collision?
Apportioning Fault: Fault for the accident would be apportioned between all three drivers. Let’s say that Driver D was 70 percent responsible for the accident, while Drivers B and C are each 15 percent to blame. Driver D will be on the hook for 70 percent of all damages caused by the accident. Drivers B and C will each individually be on the hook for 15 percent of all accident-related damages.
Limited Recovery: Drivers B, C, and D all share blame for the accident. Let’s say that all three drivers suffer $10,000 in damages. They are still entitled to recover compensation. However, their award will be reduced to the degree they share fault. For example, Driver D’s award would be reduced by 70 percent. He would only be able to recover a maximum of $3,000. Drivers B and C’s awards would be reduced by 15 percent. They would only be able to recover a maximum of $8,500.
Contributing Factors to Chain Reaction Collisions in Los Angeles
Several factors can contribute to car accidents in Los Angeles. When multiple vehicles are involved in a crash, multiple factors are often involved.
Common causes and contributing factors of Los Angeles chain reaction car accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Attempting to “beat” a red light at an intersection
- Making an illegal or unsafe turn
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Defective vehicles or equipment
- Slippery or wet road conditions, and
- Traffic and weather conditions.
One of the most common causes of chain reaction collisions is the failure to leave an adequate cushion of space between vehicles. In California, drivers must “not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent.”
It’s recommended that you leave a gap of at least 3 seconds between you and another vehicle. When you’re at a light, you should be far enough away from the car in front of you to avoid a collision if you happen to be rear-ended. If you don’t leave enough space, you can share some of the blame for the chain reaction.
How Our Car Accident Lawyers Can Help With Your Chain Reaction Collision Case
It can be difficult to determine and apportion fault when multiple people are involved in an accident. You should be prepared to blamed by others involved in your crash. It’s important to protect yourself from these claims. If these tactics are successful, you could be on the hook for most of the accident-related damages. At the same time, your own ability to recover compensation can be compromised.
At Citywide Law Group, our attorneys are prepared to protect you and your right to recover compensation after a chain reaction collision. We’ll investigate your accident thoroughly and determine every possible cause. Once we understand why the accident happened, we can know who is to blame. We’ll gather any evidence that helps to shift blame away from you. Minimizing your role in the accident will help to limit your liability and maximize your financial recovery.
Have you been involved in a chain reaction car accident in Los Angeles? Do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles car accident lawyers for immediate legal assistance. It’s important to deflect any claims that you share responsibility and fault for the accident. Our attorneys have the experience, skills, and resources that are necessary to protect you and your legal rights. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more.