The most common car accident involves two vehicles colliding. These happen in parking lots or side streets, as well as intersections. Determining liability is generally easy, because there are only two drivers to blame. But some accidents involve multiple vehicles, especially on the highway where cars are bumper to bumper. All it takes is one collision and suddenly dozens of other cars are crashing into each other because there is nowhere for them to go. We call this type of accident a multiple-vehicle accident or multi-car pileup.
Contact Correll Law Firm if you are involved in a collision involving multiple vehicles. Our Winchester car accident attorney can step in and determine liability, which is a critical first step to receiving compensation.
Why These Accidents Are So Dangerous
People suffer injuries in any type of wreck. But multi-car pileups create unique hazards. First, because so many cars are involved, it can take emergency personnel longer to get to you and free you from your car. You might be waiting for hours for the technicians to finally get to your vehicle, and your injuries can worsen as you wait.
Second, car accidents on the highway also tend to happen at higher speeds, so the vehicles generate more force. The faster cars are going, the more serious the injuries motorists suffer.
Third, any car involved in a collision could be thrown into the grassy median or into oncoming traffic, which leads to a head-on collision. These are also highly deadly accidents.
It is not unusual for these wrecks to make the news because so many people are hurt. For example, I-81 experienced an eight-vehicle pileup in August 2023, which caused one fatality and multiple injuries. This was only one of many pileups in and around Virginia over the past few years.
Who is Responsible?
A major legal concern is identifying liability. The car which hit you might not be at fault for the accident. After all, another car could have hit them, throwing them forward through no fault of their own. Everything is happening so fast, with cars ping-ponging off each other, that many victims don’t know who is responsible.
A lawyer is an excellent asset to have. We will carefully review all evidence, including:
- Police reports and diagrams
- Witness statements
- Physical evidence, such as car damage and skid marks
- Any dash cam or other video footage
Determining liability often requires careful negotiation between multiple insurance companies and lawyers. This is not the type of accident where you should handle your claim. If you are found at fault—even a little—you can lose the ability to obtain any compensation in Virginia.
What Causes Most Multi-Car Pileups?
A pileup usually begins with two cars colliding. Because of traffic congestion, this initial accident sets in motion a chain reaction involving dozens of other vehicles.
The initial accident is often caused by:
- Poor weather. Virginia drivers are rarely prepared to drive on even a little bit of snow or ice. One driver can spin out, like a driver at the Daytona 500. Suddenly, dozens of cars are all over the place. When confronting inclement weather, drivers should reduce their speed, otherwise they could be at fault.
- Speeding. Motorists who are traveling too fast can get into a collision because they need more time to stop. A speeding motorist might suddenly encounter a work zone and not have enough room to avoid a collision, leading to tragedy.
- Tailgating. A driver who follows too closely doesn’t leave enough room in the event a car in front hits the brakes. Instead, they end up smashing into the fender of the car ahead, leading to a pileup.
- Driver distraction. Distraction is a major cause of all accidents. Motorists have developed bad habits and try to multitask behind the wheel, causing them to take their eyes off the road or a hand off the steering wheel. Perhaps the greatest source of distraction is the cell phone, but other sources include food, pets, and children.
- Driver fatigue. A motorist could fall asleep behind the wheel, leading to a collision. Even a motorist who doesn’t nod off will have slowed reflexes or delayed ability to process information.
- Intoxication. Any amount of alcohol could potentially impair a driver, especially at night when alcohol interacts with fatigue. More drivers are also smoking marijuana, which can also impact driver performance.
All it takes is one driver on the highway losing control and suddenly dozens of people are headed to the emergency room with painful injuries.
How We Help
Call our law firm today to secure the services of an experienced Winchester car accident lawyer. Our firm can handle all communications for you in the days and weeks following the crash. Consequently, you can focus totally on your physical and emotional recovery. We will argue with insurance adjusters about liability and fight off any claim that you are to blame for crashing into someone.
Our lawyer also knows how to negotiate a favorable settlement. Multi-car pileups cause most of the same financial losses as other fender benders—lost income, medical bills, and car damage. You should also receive money for your physical pain and emotional distress.
One concern is that the at-fault driver’s insurance will be exhausted because of the sheer number of claims. Imagine if one driver is found liable for an accident involving 20 vehicles. The driver might only have the minimum insurance in Virginia, which means you could end up with very little money. However, you might claim compensation on your own underinsured motorist coverage. Negotiating a settlement with your own insurer is complicated, so call an attorney.
Call Correll Law Firm Today
Were you involved in a multi-car accident? You deserve an experienced lawyer to bring a claim on your behalf. At Correll Law, our Winchester car accident lawyer is pleased to offer his services to the community. Getting medical bills and car repairs paid for is difficult, but we have negotiated favorable settlements for many car accident clients.
To schedule a free consultation, please call us at 540-535-2005.