Dallas Multi-Vehicle Accident Lawyers
Did you get hurt in a multi-vehicle crash in Dallas? Are you unsure how to determine who was at fault? The car accident attorneys at The Benton Law Firm have the experience and resources needed to hold people accountable for their careless actions. When you hire us, we’ll thoroughly investigate the accident and collect evidence that proves another person was liable for your injuries. We’ll ensure they pay the financial compensation you deserve so you can move forward with your life.
When more than two vehicles are involved in a collision, it is typically the result of a chain reaction. One driver makes an error that causes an accident, and the oncoming vehicles don’t have time to maneuver out of the way, so they end up crashing into the wreckage, as well. Or, sometimes, when a vehicle is impacted in a crash, it gets thrown into the path of another vehicle. Multi-vehicle collisions are dangerous events that can cause severe injuries and sometimes death.
Our Dallas multi-vehicle accident lawyers will fight vigorously to protect your rights and recover the maximum monetary award available. Call us today at (214) 777-7777 to schedule your free consultation.
Why Do Multi-Vehicle Car Accidents Happen?
Multi-vehicle car accidents can happen for any number of reasons, but following are some of the most common causes we see at The Benton Law Firm:
Distracted drivers. There are three main types of distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. They can occur alone or all together. When a motorist isn’t paying attention to the road ahead, it could affect everyone around them. Common distractions include:
- Looking at a GPS
- Reaching for an item in the backseat
- Sending or reading a text
- Eating food
- Changing the radio
Fatigued driving. Driving while tired is similar to drunk driving. It causes a slower reaction time, decreased motor skills, and altered sensory perception. Motorists who feel fatigued or drowsy could also end up falling asleep at the wheel. Someone who doesn’t have complete control of their vehicle could run a red light or drift into oncoming traffic. It’s dangerous and often impacts multiple people when a crash occurs.
Speeding. Whether someone travels above the speed limit or drives too fast for road conditions, it’s irresponsible. A person that’s driving at excessive speeds will require a longer distance to come to a complete stop. If there’s an unexpected hazard in the road, they won’t have enough time to avoid hitting it. Something like that could create multiple collisions after the initial impact of the first vehicle. A chain reaction leads to an eventual pile up involving many cars.
Under the influence. Everyone knows that alcohol and drugs impair driving abilities. Life-threatening injuries and fatalities happen every year due to drunk or drugged driving. Dangerous side effects that could cause a multi-car accident include:
- Reduced muscle coordination
- Slower reaction time
- Impairment judgment
- Blurry vision
- Poor decision-making skills
- Altered perception
Adverse weather. Whether there’s rain, sleet, snow, or ice, motorists are supposed to reduce their speed during poor weather conditions. They should proceed with caution and focus on their surroundings and the vehicle ahead to avoid a rear-end crash. Unfortunately, some people underestimate the dangers of bad weather. If one person collides with another vehicle, it often starts a chain reaction, and a pile-up could result.
Pursuing Financial Compensation After a Multi-Vehicle Accident
If another driver involved in the crash was to blame, you could file a claim with their liability auto insurance company. Under the Texas fault system, the person who causes an accident automatically becomes financially responsible for the victim’s injuries and damages.
Damages refer to all losses suffered due to an accident or injury. They fall under two major categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are expenses, while non-economic damages are intangible losses. They may include the following:
- Costs associated with medical care
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Out of pocket expenses
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
Determining the right amount for economic damages is easy because they come with billing statements and other documents stating the value. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are difficult to calculate. To determine a fair number, the insurance company might use some of the following factors:
- Type and severity of the injury
- Total economic damages
- Duration of medically necessary treatment
- Statements made by eyewitnesses to the crash
- Impact of the injury on daily life
- Insurance coverage listed on all available policies
- The ability or inability to return to work
- Permanent damage caused by the accident
- Length of the recovery period
- Sufficient evidence provided
During the investigation, the insurance adjuster might contact you to ask questions about the accident. You should never discuss anything with them. Let your Dallas multi-vehicle accident lawyer handle all communication on your behalf. You might say something that negatively effects the outcome of your case.
Additionally, don’t admit to fault or say something that might signify fault, such as “I’m sorry.” Just tell the facts and keep your answers brief. The modified comparative negligence rule reduces the total damages an injured victim is allowed to pursue. If it’s discovered that you’re partially at fault for the crash, your compensation will be reduced in accordance with your liability percentage.
For example, if your total damages are $100,000 and you don’t share any fault in the accident, you could seek the full $100,000 in compensation. However, if you were 20% responsible for the accident, the maximum settlement amount you could receive would be $80,000.
How Civil Lawsuits Work in Texas
Sometimes insurance claims aren’t effective. If the insurance company denied your claim or provided a low settlement offer, you could file a lawsuit against them and the at-fault party. There’s a strict deadline you must comply with called a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for car accidents in Texas is two years. That means you have two years from the accident date to sue the liable party for financial compensation.
Negligence is a common legal theory used in personal injury lawsuits. It refers to one party’s failure to provide a reasonable duty of care to prevent harm to another. To prove negligence, you must show the following elements existed at the time of the multi-vehicle accident:
- Duty: The at-fault party owed you a reasonable duty of care to prevent you from getting hurt;
- Breach of duty: They breached their duty of care;
- Cause in fact: If it wasn’t for their actions, you wouldn’t have suffered harm;
- Proximate cause: Their breach was the direct cause of your injury; and
- Damages: You incurred damages.
When you file a lawsuit, you can seek compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. A third type that’s available is known as punitive damages or exemplary damages. Instead of compensating the injured party for their losses, it punishes the at-fault party for their actions.
The only way you’re able to win a financial award for punitive damages is if you can prove with clear and convincing evidence that the liable party acted with:
- Malice; or
- Gross negligence.
The Challenges of Settling a Multi-Vehicle Accident Claim
If you sustain injuries in an accident due to another driver’s actions, the solution would be to file a claim with their auto insurance company. But what if there are multiple drivers involved in the crash? How do you determine who was at fault? Unfortunately, proving liability can be a complicated process after a multi-car crash.
Common reasons insurance claims take a while after this type of accident includes:
- Criminal proceedings: Sometimes, one of the motorists performed an illegal act at the time of the accident. They could face criminal charges, which might delay your insurance claim while you’re waiting to hear the outcome of their case.
- At-fault driver’s statement: Insurance companies take statements from every person involved in an accident – drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bystanders, etc. They do this to determine what happened and who’s to blame. Unfortunately, the liable party might deny what they did and point the finger at someone else. That could result in the insurance company taking longer to investigate.
- Lack of auto insurance: Despite the law requiring all drivers to carry liability insurance, some people don’t. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you’ll have to pursue compensation elsewhere. It might take some time to track down another form of insurance coverage.
- Multiple negligent drivers: A claim that involves more than one responsible party will take longer. As an example, a driver that was speeding could be at fault for the multi-vehicle accident, but they hit a pothole that caused them to lose control of their car. Since the government is responsible for maintaining roads, they could also be to blame. Determining liability and locating the appropriate insurance policies could create an obstacle.
- More than one victim: Multi-car accidents typically lead to injuries to multiple people. Drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and others could suffer harm. The average liability policy is $30,000, which usually isn’t enough to cover every victim’s damages. Finding other sources of coverage to ensure each injured party receives compensation can take some time.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with The Benton Law Firm
Our dedicated legal team will help you fight for justice. You shouldn’t have to pay for another person’s irresponsible actions. We’ll help you hold them accountable and recover the maximum financial award you deserve.
Whether you need help filing an insurance claim or pursuing a civil lawsuit, you can depend on us. We’ll bring our experience, resources, and knowledge to your case to reach a favorable outcome. Our Dallas multi-vehicle accident lawyers always treat our clients as a priority. You’ll receive quality service from start to finish of your case.