Multi-car Accident Claims in Georgia
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an automobile accident happens once every 60 seconds in the United States. This statistic translates to almost 6 million accidents on U.S. roadways each year. Almost one-third of these involve two or more vehicles. NHTSA records indicate that approximately 40% of all injuries and fatalities sustained on U.S. roadways happen in multi-car accidents.
Motorists in Georgia are particularly susceptible to being involved in a multi-car accident because of the network of busy interstate and U.S. highways that criss-cross the state. Georgia's highways are often crowded with daily commuters, truckers and out-of-state travelers passing through on their way to other destinations.
A scenario of a multi-car accident on an interstate highway is not uncommon. Consider the following hypothetical. Hundreds of cars traveling at or near the posted speed limit fill all lanes of the highway. Some drivers follow the car in front too closely, forgetting or choosing not to allow the recommended safe-distance between them. Other drivers are impatient with the crowded conditions, and move from lane to lane to try to get to their destination just a little bit faster. Suddenly, one driver is startled when a driver cuts in front of him or brakes suddenly. He/she may not have been paying attention or distracted while using a cell phone, changing radio stations, dealing with a leaky cup of coffee, or perhaps applying make-up. The startled driver hits the brakes or swerves into the next lane over hoping to avoid a collision. Usually that effort is in vain, and the driver collides with the car in front, or sideswipes a car in the next lane. What follows is a chain reaction. Other cars nearby or following react and try to avoid a collision. Sometimes they get lucky. Oft-times they do not and, as a result, become players themselves. Depending on the severity of the accident, as the involved cars come to rest, there is a moment of chaos as the shaken drivers try to figure out whether they or someone else was injured. The highway shuts down, causing a backup miles long. The EMTs arrive shortly and go about their business of caring for the injured; the police begin recording data as efforts begin to sort it all out. Blame is flying as different versions of what happened abound.
Other Common Causes of Multi-Car Pile Ups
There are any number of other reasons why multi-car accidents can occur besides distracted driving, usually involving driver error. These may include tailgating, speeding, falling asleep, impaired or intoxicated driving, or disregard for bad weather. Often, determining fault is not easy.
Who Is At Fault?
The answer that most insurance companies advocate is that the last car at the back of a multi-car pile-up is responsible, theoretically because the driver started the chain reaction. Frequently, that explanation is wrong. Fault depends of which driver started the chain reaction by his negligence. Ascertaining fault requires careful reconstruction of the accident. Sometimes the insurance companies for the involved drivers will send trained accident investigators or experts in accident reconstruction to determine cause. In some cases, Georgia's State police will dispatch its Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team to conduct a follow-up investigation. The nature and extent of injuries and property damage a party can sustain in a multi-car collision vary depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. These injuries are frequently serious, sometimes deadly. Multi-car accidents typically occur at high-speed where the involved vehicles can collide with each other more than once, spewing glass and metal everywhere.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, you should contact one of our attorneys at Montlick & Associates. Our attorneys can examine the facts and circumstances of what happened and advise you on your legal rights as well as what steps are necessary to protect those rights.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 35 Years of Experience to Work For your Case!
Due to the complexity of the underlying facts surrounding how a multi-car crash occurred and potential problems assigning fault, it can be important that a victim of this type of accident hire an experienced attorney who has successfully handled these types of crashes. Hiring a competent car accident attorney can also be a critical step to protecting yourself and possibly recovering compensation. The lawyers at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law fight hard for our clients with the objective of recovering for them valuable compensation for their injuries. Our firm has over 35 years of experience representing car accident victims across Georgia and in the Southeast. Contact us to schedule your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour-Live Online Chat.
Sources: https://www.nhtsa.gov/research-data and https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/Publication/811162
Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
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