Our Atlanta Law Firm Handles Multi-Vehicle Accidents
If you were involved in a multi-vehicle car accident, you will likely find the aftermath of the crash overwhelming. In Georgia, understanding your rights is crucial because an accident of this kind can be complex, and liability can be confusing. Seeking legal representation from a skilled Atlanta car accident lawyer at Rechtman & Spevak is essential for protecting your rights and compensation.
Liability in a Multi-Vehicle Accident
Determining liability in a multi-vehicle accident requires a thorough investigation and consideration of the specific circumstances of the case. Legal proceedings may involve many parties, each defending or contesting their level of responsibility. The various parties that could be held liable in a multi-vehicle accident include:
- The driver that initially caused the accident
- Other drivers involved in the collision that were reckless or negligent
- Government agencies responsible for road maintenance
- Vehicle manufacturers
Factors that can cause a multi-vehicle collision include:
- Poor weather or road conditions
- Reckless drivers who speed or tailgate
- Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Vehicle malfunctions
- Failure to adhere to traffic laws
Common Multi-Vehicle Crash Injuries
Multi-vehicle crashes occur when three or more vehicles collide or are involved in a series of events that result in a pile-up. The following are some common injuries that can result from a multi-vehicle accident:
One of the most common injuries in a multi-vehicle accident is whiplash. A form of soft-tissue injury, whiplash occurs when a person’s head is suddenly and forcefully jerked back and forth. Often, rear-end collisions cause whiplash, and the force of the impact can strain the neck muscles and cause damage to the ligaments and soft tissues in the cervical spine.
Head injuries are also common in multi-vehicle crashes, ranging from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The force of impact can lead to the head striking the steering wheel, windshield, or other objects within the vehicle, causing varying degrees of trauma to the brain.
Spinal injuries are another significant concern in multi-vehicle accidents. The spine can be subjected to extreme force during a collision, leading to fractures, herniated discs, or even spinal cord injuries. Spinal injuries can result in long-term complications and, in severe cases, paralysis.
Broken Bones and Fractures
Multi-vehicle crashes can cause broken bones and fractures to various parts of the body. The impact can cause occupants to collide with the interior of the vehicle, leading to broken ribs, arms, legs, or other bones. The severity of these injuries depends on factors such as speed, angle of impact, use of seat belts, and/or the deployment of airbags.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Other soft tissue injuries are also common in multi-vehicle accidents. Bruises, contusions, and lacerations can occur due to the force of the collision or contact with debris within the vehicle. These injuries may seem minor initially but can develop into more severe complications if not properly addressed.
In addition to physical injuries, the emotional toll of a multi-vehicle crash should not be overlooked. Many individuals involved in this type of accident may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression due to the trauma they experience.
Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities
Following a multi-vehicle accident, it's essential to be aware of your rights and responsibilities. It’s important to take the following steps to help protect your legal rights and compensation:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
It’s critical that you prioritize your health and well-being by seeking immediate medical attention for injuries, even if they appear minor. Some injuries may not be visible and can worsen over time. Seeking medical attention after the accident creates a record of your injuries, which can be used as evidence if you decide to pursue a claim.
Report the Accident to Law Enforcement
After a multi-vehicle accident, it is vital to alert law enforcement so a police report can be issued. The police report serves as an official record of the accident and can be used to help prove liability. It is essential to review the report carefully, noting any inaccuracies and bringing them to the attention of law enforcement. It can be unclear at the time of the report as to who is responsible for the crash.
Document the Scene of the Accident
If you can stay at the scene of the accident, you should gather and preserve as much evidence as possible. This can include photos of all the vehicles involved, their positions on the road, and the damage to your vehicle. You also need to gather witness contact information and contact information for all other parties involved in the crash. When interacting with other drivers, remain calm and cooperative but avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be misconstrued later.
Use Caution When Dealing With Insurers
After a crash, the at-fault party’s insurance company will get involved, contacting you soon after the accident or even if you’re in the hospital. In a multi-vehicle crash, it is not uncommon for multiple insurers to be involved, and each party's insurance company may try to contact you. Each one wants to minimize its payout by attempting to shift blame to another driver. The insurance companies’ inquiries can be perplexing. Drivers are often asked about the number of impacts felt during the collision. This seemingly harmless question is designed to discern the complexity of the accident and the extent of potential damages. It’s important not to answer these questions before you hire an attorney.
Consult an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
Since multi-vehicle accidents can be complex, consulting an Atlantia car accident lawyer at Rechtman & Spevak is highly recommended. An experienced lawyer will guide you through the legal process and make sure your rights and possible compensation are protected.
Comparative Fault Rule in Multi-Vehicle Crashes
Multi-vehicle accidents bring about a host of complications. With multiple parties pointing fingers, determining who is at fault can become a battle of conflicting narratives. This situation can become more challenging when different insurance companies are involved, each representing their client's interests.
Georgia follows a comparative fault rule, which means that if a driver is found to be partially at fault, their recovery of damages is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to them. Only drivers who are less than 50 percent at fault can recover compensation. Navigating these complexities requires legal expertise to ensure fair compensation.
The Importance of Legal Representation
In the aftermath of a multi-vehicle accident, seeking legal representation is not only advisable but essential. If you are a driver who ended up in the middle of a multi-vehicle crash, having an experienced attorney on your side can help you navigate Georgia's legal system, help ensure that your rights are protected, and give you an advocate to help you obtain a fair settlement.
A skilled lawyer will do the following to build a compelling personal injury claim on your behalf:
Investigate the Accident
An Atlantia car accident lawyer will conduct an investigation of the accident. They will do this by gathering evidence such as police and medical reports, interviewing witnesses, and reconstructing the events leading to the accident.
Negotiate With Insurance Companies
A car accident lawyer will also handle communication with insurance companies, shielding you from potential pitfalls and helping to ensure that your statements do not inadvertently harm your case.
Provide Court Representation
If the insurance company will not settle your claim for what it is worth, your car accident lawyer will take your case to court and fight for the compensation you deserve.
File Your Claim in the Required Timeframe
Like most states, Georgia has a statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim. Typically, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim to recover damages. If you wait too long to file your claim and miss this deadline, it will result in losing your right to pursue compensation. Hiring an Atlanta car accident lawyer right away ensures that your case is filed within the necessary timeframe, so you can seek compensation for your injuries or loss.
As you navigate the aftermath of a multi-vehicle accident, remember that the proper legal support can make all the difference in securing the compensation you deserve. If other parties are found liable for the multi-vehicle accident, your lawyer can help you recover compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life