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How is Fault Determined in Multi-Vehicle Car Accidents in Florida?


The vast majority of auto accidents in the United States occur between two vehicles, but sometimes, more than two automobiles are involved. When multiple cars are part of a chain-reaction or pile-up crash, you may wonder how fault is determined.

Determining who is to blame for a multi-vehicle accident can be challenging because, more often than not, there are several at-fault parties, each with their own degree of fault.

When multiple people share fault, it substantially complicates filing a personal injury claim to get compensated for your damages, not to mention that other drivers will probably try to shift blame for the accident onto you.

That is where a West Palm Beach car accident attorney can step in to help you (a) identify the at-fault parties, (b) prove that your actions did not constitute negligence, and (c) pursue the monetary compensation you deserve through the insurance claims process or lawsuit.

Multi-Car Accident in Florida

One such multi-vehicle crash has recently made headlines in Florida. As reported by WINK News, Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a multi-car crash that occurred along northbound I-75 in south Fort Myers last Sunday.

A total of 11 people sustained injuries – of which one was hospitalized with serious injuries – after three cars were involved in a devastating accident. The three vehicles were all traveling north in the center lane, one behind the other.

When the vehicle in the middle of the three began to decrease speed, the motorist in the back failed to slow down to avoid a collision and struck the rear end of the middle car. Then, the front vehicle was also hit by the rear car and was spun around off the side off the road.

As a result of the chain-reaction collision, the driver of the rear vehicle that failed to slow down in a timely manner was charged with careless driving. That driver was also the only one who suffered severe injuries.

Types of Multi-Vehicle Collisions

There are several types of collisions that are commonly associated with chain-reaction crashes:

  • Rear-end accidents. When one motorist slams into the rear of another car, the force of impact can cause the vehicle to propel and hit a third vehicle ahead.
  • Head-on accidents. Often, a collision between two vehicles can cause an automobile to cross into oncoming traffic and collide with the front of another vehicle.
  • T-bone accidents. In a crash between two vehicles, the force of impact can cause one of the cars to crash into the side of an approaching vehicle, resulting in a side-impact collision. This type of multiple-vehicle crash commonly occurs at intersections.

Determining Fault in Multi-Car Crashes

While you are lucky to have survived a multi-vehicle accident, determining fault in these crashes comes with its own share of challenges. That is because each party may have played a role in it, which makes determining their degree of fault more complicated.

Under Florida’s comparative negligence rule, recovery of damages is reduced by the percentage of your fault in a crash. That means multiple parties may be liable for a percentage of negligence, including yourself. Although the police may note who is at fault in a multi-vehicle accident on the police report, a West Palm Beach auto accident attorney can conduct an independent investigation to establish responsibility more accurately.

Contact Pike & Lustig, LLP, to determine fault in your multi-vehicle accident today. Call at 561-291-8298 or visit our Contact Us page.




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