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What are multiple vehicle collisions?

With so much traffic in Houston, the roads can often be a dangerous place, with even the most cautious drivers finding themselves caught up in multiple vehicle collisions. These types of crashes happen when a first vehicle stops suddenly, or makes a grave error, followed by a chain reaction of other vehicles colliding. Multi car accidents can cause extensive injury, trauma, property damage and financial burden. If you were involved in a multi-car pile-up, a skilled lawyer can help you to navigate the legalities and exact appropriate compensation.

What are common causes of multiple vehicle collisions?

  • Sudden stops or slowdowns – An unexpected or abrupt stop on a freeway can cause rear-end pile ups.
  • Hazards on the road – Debris, animals or spilled truck loads can cause a driver to lurch out of control, resulting in a multi car collision.
  • Poor weather conditions – Sleet, rain, snow or fog can lead to not only visibility concerns, but also slipping and sliding on a wet road, making driving hazardous to all.
  • Speeding – If a driver is speeding, they have much less time to react to surprises. If they make a mistake, an entire row of cars can end up in a multi vehicle crash.
  • Driver negligence – If a driver is drowsy, distracted or under the influence, the consequences can be deadly. Drivers using cell phones, eating, reading maps, listening to music or talking are not focused on the road, and may end up causing accidents.

What are chain reaction accidents?

Chain reaction crashes occur when one car rear ends another car in front of it, triggering a series of related collisions. The accident occurs in a “chain” of three or more vehicles. Chain reaction accidents occur daily in Houston, due to the heaviness of traffic and driver inattention at traffic stops. Usually the initial car in the chain is held responsible for damages.

Who is at fault, and how do you establish that?

The authorities will consider the timing between vehicle collisions. If you immediately collided with another car as part of a chain reaction to a rear end crash in front of you, you will mostly likely not be considered the sole cause of the accident. If there was a gap between the primary car wreck and your vehicle colliding with another, then Texas law may hold you accountable for a new incident, citing your inability to drive defensively.

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Are there insurance issues with multiple car accidents?

All drivers in Texas must carry a minimum of $30,000 per person, $60,000 for bodily injury liability, and $25,000 in property damage coverage. When a multi car collision happens, those numbers may barely cover the costs. Adjusters may call all the parties involved in the crash and pressure them to admit fault in order to protect their own clients, so it’s mandatory that you hire your own lawyer to protect you and settle your claim. Make sure you speak to a lawyer first before answering any questions or making any statements about your involvement in a multi vehicle collision.

Comparative Fault Can Reduce Your Recovery

Car accident victims who are found to be 50% or less at fault for the accident have their recovery reduced by their assigned degree of fault. For example, a person awarded $100,000 in damages who was found to be 30% at fault for the accident would have his or her recovery reduced to $70,000.

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