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How Is Fault Determined In A Multi-vehicle Accident?

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If a chain reaction of car accidents is caused when one car strikes another and in turn pushes that car into a third, and so on, determining fault can be challenging. Several cars may be damaged, and one or more parties involved injured. Leading to a tangle of liability claims with multiple insurance companies that may result in lengthy legal disputes.

If you have suffered an injury in a multi-vehicle accident, you may be wondering if you are entitled to compensation and how to go about collecting it. A reliable car accident lawyer in Houston can help you navigate through the process and ensure you have ample evidence to prove fault.

How Fault is Assigned in a Multi-Vehicle Accident

Oftentimes, it is the car in the back or the first drivers who hit one another that are assigned the most liability in a multi-vehicle accident. However, who started the domino effect and failed in their duty of care to keep others on the road safe is not always obvious. Several drivers may be partially to blame. Each incident is unique and will require an investigation to produce an extensive breakdown of the events that took place, before a decision on liability is made. Factors that may be considered are:

  • Witness statements.
  • Police reports.
  • Any available video surveillance, or black box data if a large truck was involved.
  • If a state or local traffic law was violated by one of the drivers, or if a citation was issued.
  • Where the accident took place and the position of the vehicles once they came to rest.
  • The severity and location of damage to the vehicles.
  • Road conditions at the time of the accident and whether a driver was traveling at an unsafe speed for the conditions.
  • If one of the drivers was making a left turn.

Timing is also everything. In general, the closer in time your car crashes to the original accident, the less at fault you are. If your car crashes after an accident has already occurred, you may have been able to avoid the accident and could be found responsible for your injuries and property damage.

How Texas’ Rule of Comparative Negligence can Affect Your Financial Award

Texas follows the rule of modified comparative negligence, which can impact the amount of compensation you receive after a multi-vehicle accident. You still have the right to collect an award, even if you are partially at fault. However, you must be found to be 50 percent or less responsible, and your award will be reduced by your percentage of liability. The way that works is as follows:

  • If you are found between 1%-50% at fault, your compensation award will be reduced by that percentage. For example, if you are 30% responsible and awarded $100,000, you will receive only $70,000 in compensation.
  • If you are more than 50% at fault, you will not be allowed to recover compensation.
  • If you are 0% at fault, your compensation is unaffected.

Call Our Houston Car Accident Lawyers Today

Working with a Houston multi-vehicle accident lawyer will ensure you have the evidence you need to demonstrate why other parties are responsible for your injury. Our team at the Milano Legal Group PLLC is dedicated to representing victims of negligence. We are prepared to carry the legal burden for our clients and their families, so they can focus on recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation, by reaching us online or calling (713) 489-4270.

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