Few things in life are simple, and determining who is at fault after a Long Island car accident is not one of those things. Even when only two cars are involved in a collision, it is rare for one person to be deemed to be 100 percent at fault. Instead, judges and juries often find that both drivers bear some degree of responsibility for causing the accident and/or any resulting injuries. Car crashes can be even more complicated when your injuries are the result of a “chain reaction” accident involving multiple cars. A simple chain reaction car crash might unfold like this:
- Car 1 slams into the rear of Car 2;
- The force of this initial impact propels Car 2 forward into the rear of Car 3;
- The force of the impact between Car 2 and Car 3 makes Car 3 hit Car 4 from behind, causing your injuries (assuming, of course, that you are in Car 4).
New York allocates fault in a car crash between all of those whose negligent or careless acts contributed to the crash and the victim(s) injuries and losses. If you or a loved one are injured in a chain reaction car wreck, then, it is imperative that all those responsible for causing or contributing to the crash (no matter how small) be identified and their degree of fault ascertained so that you or your loved one have the best chance at recovering full and fair compensation.
Who is At-Fault in a Chain Reaction Car Wreck?
In most cases, the car that “starts” the chain reaction car wreck (that is, the car that makes initial contact with another car) will bear the brunt of the blame for causing the subsequent crashes and injuries. This is not to say that other cars involved in the crash are always blameless, however. Evidence that shows any of the drivers in the “middle” of the chain committed one or more of the following acts may be sufficient to hold these drivers liable in part as well:
- Failing to activate a turn signal, thereby increasing the likelihood that Car 1 would crash;
- Operating a vehicle with defective tail lamps or turn signals so that Car 1 would be unaware of what Car 2 was intending to do;
- Sudden movements by Car 2 that do not give the driver of Car 1 a sufficient time to react; and/or
- Seeing that a collision was imminent, the driver of Car 2 or Car 3 attempting to move out of the way by hitting the accelerator.
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Call the Long Island Personal Injury Attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP
Knowing how to identify who is at fault in a chain reaction car wreck, and to what degree each person’s carelessness contributed to the crash requires a keen eye for detail, plenty of experience, and the resources of your Long Island personal injury attorneys. The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP is committed to helping injured Long Island motorists recover the compensation they need to address their car wreck-related injuries and expenses regardless of the number of vehicles involved. Call our office toll free at (866) 580-1960 or use our online contact form for a free, no-obligation consultation.