A pile-up car crash is a car accident involving multiple vehicles. It is a frightening and often devastating type of car accident that can lead to multiple injured victims. Understanding liability – financial responsibility – for a pile-up car crash can be challenging, as these crashes involve three or more drivers. If you get injured in a multi-car accident in Texas, contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible for legal assistance.
Who Is At-Fault in a Multi-Car Pile-Up?
Texas’s fault law states that the driver at fault for causing the car accident will be financially responsible for damages. Fault usually goes to the driver who was negligent or careless. If a negligent driver in Texas causes a collision, his or her auto insurance company will have to pay for victims’ medical bills and vehicle repairs.
Since a multi-car pile-up accident involves multiple drivers, determining liability can be difficult. For the most part, the rear driver is the primary liable party in a chain-reaction accident. This driver most likely caused the original collision that sparked a chain reaction that ultimately struck multiple vehicles. However, the rear driver may not be 100 percent responsible for a pile-up accident.
In Texas, multiple parties can share liability for a single auto accident. Two different laws apply to cases involving multiple at-fault parties: joint and several liability and comparative negligence. Texas’s joint and several liability law says that if a defendant is found to be more than 50 percent responsible for a crash, he or she will have to pay the full amount of the victim’s damages.
The comparative negligence law states that if an injured plaintiff contributed to the accident, the courts may reduce his or her settlement or judgment award. In Texas, an at-fault driver can still recover at least partial compensation as long as he or she is less than 51 percent responsible. At 51 percent or more responsibility, however, the plaintiff loses the right to recover. If you might have contributed to the pile-up collision, therefore, you may still be eligible for financial compensation.
Common Causes of Car Pile-Ups
Determining who is liable for a pile-up car crash in Texas takes identifying and analyzing the cause of the initial collision. This will be the origin of the multi-car crash and will point to the identity of the at-fault party. If you need assistance identifying the cause of your chain-reaction car accident, contact an attorney.
Some of the most common causes of car pile-ups include:
- Rear-end collisions
- Distracted driving
- Texting and driving
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Highway accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Driving under the influence
- Red-light running
- Intersection accidents
- Bad weather
Most multi-vehicle accidents are preventable. They occur when one or more drivers are negligent and make a serious preventable error behind the wheel. If another driver carelessly or recklessly caused a pile-up car accident that you were a part of, he or she may be financially responsible for your losses.
What to Do If You Are Involved in a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident
If you get into a multi-vehicle car accident, stay calm and pull over in a safe location. Check yourself and all other parties for injuries. Call 911 immediately from the scene of the pile-up, as these kinds of crashes are always severe enough to warrant a call to the police under Texas law. If someone is injured, request an ambulance. Try to help injured people while you wait for the police.
Take photographs while still at the scene of the accident for evidence. Get the names and information of all other drivers, as well as eyewitnesses. Then, go to a hospital in San Antonio. When you are ready to discuss your legal rights, contact an attorney for a free initial consultation. An attorney can help you determine fault and successfully recover.