I was in a chain reaction multi-car accident in Washington. Who is liable?

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In every case, the person who causes a Washington car accident should be liable for the damages and injuries, but when there is a multi-car accident, sometimes more than one person is liable. This is because in multi-car accidents, multiple people can act negligently and cause or contribute to the accident.

First, let us consider a typical, two-car accident. Alice stops her car at a red light. Bob, who is texting, does not see her car and slams into her. In this case, Bob is liable. Liability in this case is pretty cut and dry.

What happens if more drivers or factors are involved?

Let us add more parties. In this case, Bob rear-ends Alice who, due to the force of being rear-ended by Bob, rear-ends Camille. Bob will likely be liable for both accidents.

What happens if we change our accident a bit? In this case, Alice rear-ends Camille (who is sitting at a red light) first. Bob, who is texting and does not see Alice stop, rear-ends Alice. In this case, we have two liable parties:

  • Alice will be liable for rear-ending Camille.
  • Bob will be liable for rear-ending Alice. However, Alice may be partially liable for Bob rear-ending her.

Rear end multiple car crash on street.

However, this situation can become more complicated if another party or factor (e.g., one of the parties had a burnt-out taillight) is involved. For example, if Camille’s brake lights were out, Camille could be liable for Alice rear-ending her (if Alice was following at a safe distance and following all traffic laws) and partially liable for Bob rear-ending Alice, even though Bob was texting.

If another driver caused the entire collision, s/he may be liable. For example, if Doug swerved to avoid debris in the roadway and sideswiped Camille causing her to brake quickly and set off a chain reaction of accidents, he could be liable, at least partially, for any resulting accidents.

Weather, construction, and other drivers (who are not involved in the accident) can also play a big role in multi-car chain reaction accidents.

Where can I get help if I was in a multi-car accident?

As you can see, chain reaction multi-car accidents are often complicated. A multi-car chain reaction accident can leave victims with catastrophic injuries; our car accident team can help you recover the compensation you and your family need and deserve.

We will work with accident reconstruction experts to determine exactly how the accident happened, who originally caused it, and which additional parties are liable.

Once we have determined the liable parties, we will manage communication with each party’s insurer. Dealing with one insurer is difficult enough; it becomes immensely more complicated when you add insurers to the mix. Fortunately, we have experience on both sides of the aisle when it comes to dealing with insurers. We know the tricks insurers might try to pull and we know how to defend against them.

And we do all this with no-upfront costs from you. We know how difficult recovering from an accident is; we believe you should have the freedom to recover from your injuries without worrying about how you are going to pay for a lawyer. We will do all the legwork, keep you informed about how your case is going, and help you in whatever way we can.

Note: All we ask of you is that you continue with your medical care. Follow all your doctor’s instructions to the T and do not overexert yourself. If you are worried about how you will pay for your medical bills before your case settles, read our post for your options.

Call us today at 425-399-7000 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation with Kirkland car accident lawyer Max Meyers. To make sure you are doing what you can to protect your rights before our consultation, feel free to read through our free eBook Car Accident Secrets Unlocked. We look forward to speaking with you.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.