California has over 16,000 miles of paved highways, state routes, interstates, and freeways. With millions of cars traveling on these roads, accidents become unavoidable. And one of the common accidents on these highways is multi-vehicle accidents, or commonly called pile-up or chain reaction accidents.
While a normal accident will have only two cars involved, multi-vehicle accidents often involve three or more cars. These types of accidents also result in high payouts if the victims pursue compensation with the help of Pasadena personal injury attorneys.
California highway collisions are often catastrophic, considering the high speeds the cars travel. Whether it was a slow-moving 3 car accident or a major pile-up on the interstate, you are still entitled to compensation. Learn what to do following such an accident.
What Are the Causes of Multi-Vehicle Highway Accidents?
It is possible to avoid highway accidents, but because of driver negligence, they continue to occur. The higher speeds on freeways make it harder for drivers to react quickly to what is mostly sudden.
Highway crashes in California can have several causes. They include:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver distraction
- Drunk driving
- Bad weather
- Defective road design
- Over speeding
- Lack of road or vehicle maintenance
- Flying debris
- Police chases
- Reckless lane change
Weather is a big contributor to highway collisions. Fog and snow are the top two culprits. It’s therefore advisable to drive carefully if you’re facing inclement weather on the road.
How Do I Collect Evidence?
Some people choose to hire private investigators to dig deeper into the situation. This investigator could be your Pasadena highway accident attorney or someone else. They will investigate the available information and look into major records concerning everyone involved in the accident.
Your investigator or lawyer will visit the accident scene and take photographs, evaluate the road conditions and the surrounding areas, and measure skid marks. This process ensures that every piece of evidence is captured to be used to pursue compensation. If you were involved in a multi-vehicle accident on a California highway, contact the Pasadena highway accident attorneys for skilled defense.
Importance of Witnesses
People not involved in the crash but witnessed it can be critical in such cases. They are often unbiased observers who will likely narrate precisely what they saw. Other car drivers already have vested interests and may blame other people.
If several witnesses say the same thing, this can strengthen the case and make it easier for you. You can get the contact information of bystanders who witnessed the highway crash in Pasadena. These could include things like their name and phone number. With the help of witness statements, your Pasadena highway accident attorney will be able to put up a strong case on your behalf.
How Can I Establish Who Was at Fault in A Multi-Vehicle Accident?
The blame will go to the driver who caused the initial collision in an accident involving three cars. Even if the second car goes and collides with a third car, the fault will still be on the first car. Therefore, the car that caused the initial collision will be responsible for everyone else’s losses.
In a pile-up accident, it may be a little more complicated. Multiple cars may be at fault here or just one. Because of the huge amount of money on the line, insurers will often send their best claim adjusters to the accident to investigate what really happened and who is the at-fault driver. This is why you need to know what to do after such an accident and how best to maximize the help of your Pasadena highway accident attorney.
More time may be taken to investigate a multiple car accident because accident investigators may have to analyze eyewitness statements, photos, police reports, and surveillance footage. This evidence will be used to reconstruct the chain reaction accident piece by piece to find out the at-fault party.
What to Do If I Share Fault?
It’s possible to be assigned partial fault in a pile-up accident, but this shouldn’t frighten you. California is a pure comparative negligence state which means you will still recover a percentage of damages from another driver’s insurance. The courts will only reduce this amount by the amount you are responsible for. That’s why you need an experienced highway accident lawyer in Pasadena, CA, to bring your portion of fault as low as possible.
What Damages Are Available to Me?
You can receive both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the losses you incur to which a dollar amount can be attached. These losses include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
Non-economic damages often cover subjective losses. Non-economic damages will cover:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
California also allows for punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant. They are only awarded to you if the defendant’s behavior is highly harmful.
Who Should I Contact for Help?
Your Insurance Company
Make sure you report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.
You should absolutely call the police to report the accident. The police report will be used to assign fault and liability. The police are professionals and will be keen on the facts of the accident.
An Accident Lawyer
Your attorney is critical for legal advice. Your lawyer will advise you to make sure you’re taking the proper steps that won’t hurt you later.
Legal Guidance from Caring and Experienced Accident Attorneys?
You may feel lost if you’re involved in a car accident involving multiple cars. It’s true that such an accident is unique and may be difficult to litigate. With the help of skilled legal representation, you can navigate the process without any challenge.
Our accident attorneys in Pasadena can help you recover financial compensation for your losses. We will investigate the accident and pursue compensation from the at-fault party or parties. Book a FREE case evaluation with our compassionate legal team.