Where Does Liability Lie in Multi-Car Crashes?

Missouri is a fault-based car insurance state, which means that negligent drivers are financially responsible for any accidents that they cause. When there are three or more vehicles involved in a collision, it can be extremely difficult to determine who is at fault.

Liability in a multi-car accident requires an in-depth investigation of how the accident occurred. In these situations, it is important to contact a Missouri car accident lawyer who can represent your interests and help you identify the liable driver.

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Determining Liability in Multi-Car Crashes

In Missouri, drivers have a responsibility to follow state traffic laws and drive their vehicles safely. If a driver violates this duty and causes a collision, he or she would be responsible for paying for any damages that the victims suffered.

In crashes involving two vehicles, it is often simple to identify who was at fault. One driver may have hit the other while running a red light, for example. In this situation, it is clear that the motorist who broke the law is at fault.

Multi-car accidents are more complex. In these cases, it is crucial to identify whose actions set off the collision. A driver may set off a series of events that culminate in a pileup. The negligence and recklessness of multiple drivers may cause a crash.

Examples of Multi-Car Accident Scenarios

To determine liability in a multi-car accident, you need to examine the details on a case-by-case basis. It is best to consult with a lawyer who can conduct a full investigation into the accident and gather evidence to identify who caused the initial crash.

For example, say that driver A comes to a stop at a red light. Driver B stops behind driver A, but driver C fails to stop. Driver C collides with driver B, who strikes driver A. In this situation, driver C would be at fault because his failure to stop caused the accident to occur.

Now, let’s say that driver A is driving through an intersection when a child suddenly runs into the street. Driver A slams on his brakes to avoid hitting the child, but driver B was tailgating driver A and does not have time to stop. Driver B collides with driver A.

Then, driver C is talking on the phone while driving and does not notice the collision ahead. She then strikes driver B, causing him to spin out of control and strike driver D’s vehicle parked on the side of the road. In this case, driver B would likely be liable for driver A’s damages. Driver C would be liable for driver B’s losses, and likely driver D’s property damage due to her actions.

How to Protect Yourself after a Multi-Car Collision

As you can see, multi-car accidents can be complicated situations. You will need to identify what each driver was doing at the time of the collision and see whether any of them were violating their duties of care. Every driver will be scrutinized closely—including yourself.

If you are injured in a multi-car collision, you need an attorney on your side who can protect your best interests. A Kansas City car accident lawyer can investigate your accident and gather the evidence you need to establish liability. To initiate your claim, contact an attorney as soon as possible following the accident.