Multi-Car Accident in California: How These Cases Are Handled
California also has the highest rate of fatal car crashes in the country. There were 4,161 traffic fatalities in 2021. This has caused the state to put more pressure on drivers to drive safely. Even with the additional driving safety crackdowns, there are still a high number of car accidents throughout the state.
For a multi-car accident in California that only results in minor injuries or even major injuries to the driver or passengers, it can seem complicated to determine how these accidents get handled if you live in California. Instead of going at it blindly, work with an accident lawyer that will do it for you. Keep reading to understand exactly how California handles multi-car accidents.
How Are Multi-Car Accident Cases Handled in California?
California experiences a significantly higher volume of cars on its freeways and city streets than most states. This is one reason that drivers are so prone to experiencing accidents. A California accident may differ from other states in the simple sense that it’s an at-fault state.
What this means is that the driver that caused the car accident can be held responsible for the damages caused by the accident. Essentially, the at-fault driver can be held accountable for the costs of any potential injuries endured by any of the involved parties. This will also involve financial responsibility for any damaged property.
Keep in mind that more than one person may be held responsible for the accident. Anyone that contributed to causing harm during an incident could be liable.
There is also the case of comparative fault, which is a doctrine that allows for the comparison of the fault of both parties. The award given to the plaintiff will be reduced if the blame placed matches or is less than the blame put on the defendant.
With comparative negligence, it would mean that someone injured in an accident would have the ability to receive compensation for any damages experienced. This also means that any negligence caused by the person that experienced injury would be taken out of their total payout from the accident.
Who is Responsible for the Damages?
Costs will involve loss of wages due to injury that keeps someone from performing work-related duties. Also, this will include any medical expenses or property damages. Costs associated with any prescribed ongoing care, such as physical therapy, are also added to the cost.
When determining who is at fault for a multi-car accident in California, it will depend on different factors. As mentioned, there won’t be only one person at fault if more than one of the persons involved caused the collision. Liability may be divided among the responsible parties.
Multi-Car Accident in California: Determining Fault
Since California is an “at-fault” state, the driver that caused the collision is the party deemed at fault for the situation. However, there are a variety of things that will determine this.
Many California drivers involved in multi-vehicle accidents have concerns about how public officials will determine the party at fault. They also wonder how an accident lawyer can help defend them in situations like this. This often comes from the fact that a two-vehicle collision is more simple to determine.
With two vehicles, it’s easier to tell who might have been negligent at the time a crash occurred. When you have more than one vehicle, that becomes more difficult. California officials will use a variety of methods to determine who first acted negligently.
A police report is a recollection of the accident. These reports will often include word-for-word witness testimonies and scene observations from those who arrived on the scene. They are mainly needed to make proper determinations of who or what was the cause of the accident.
Surveillance videos are important. They can show how an incident occurred in real-time time and are less susceptible to tampering since they aren’t provided by bystanders. This option of evidence is a more reliable way to show who could be at fault.
Videos or Photos Taken
One of the main methods is by photographs or video evidence taken of the scene. Picture evidence taken at an accident site can help to determine the severity of the accident and the injuries that occurred from it. This type of evidence helps to convince insurance companies and public officials who may have been at fault and who should be responsible for paying for damages and associated injuries.
Additionally, witness statements and a full examination of the vehicle are also taken into account. The credibility of witnesses, however, is a major consideration. They are, however, less reliable.
A credible witness, though, will actually help a California lawyer form a strong defense. This factor plays a big part in settlement offers that can be achieved by the accident attorney.
What Does the Compensation for Multiple Car Accidents Look Like?
On average, the settlement for car accidents in the state of California could be thousands or tens of thousands but this will vary. It will depend on the type of accident and its nature of it. A few things that will affect how much a settlement in California will be are the;
- Nature of injuries endured.
- Alterations in your life due to the accident.
- The severity of injuries.
- How quickly you received medical attention and the results of a physical examination.
- Chance of having endured a permanent disability from the accident.
- Your insurance policy.
These are things that could affect your California settlement if you’re involved in a pile-up. While other factors will play a part in your final settlement impeding an investigation, it’s essential to know that some driving laws in California are different than other states and that new laws have been put into place as of 2022 concerning driving speeds. All of these factors will play a part in any compensation you receive for an accident.
Where Do These Types of Accidents Occur Most of the Time?
These types of incidents can happen due to a variety of factors. They can also happen in any type of area. However, most of the time, heavily populated freeways will see a higher number of multi-car accidents throughout the state.
A lot of the time, car accidents that involve multiple vehicles occur on freeways. They also often happen due to cars traveling at high speeds within highly-occupied portions of a highway.
Reckless driving is the top cause of multi-car accidents in California intersections. More than 50% of total fatal and injury crashes across the country occur at or near intersections. Tailgating and lane changes with no indicators to other drivers are two top causes of intersection accidents which are forms of unsafe and reckless driving.
The most common influence on multi-car accidents in parking lots is simply not paying attention. A lot of the time, this happens when someone basics into someone else while they are leaving a parking spot.
This creates congestion which can extend to other drivers. This can also affect multiple drivers performing the same action at the same time.
At least 1,198 people died from two-vehicle collisions in California in 2022, and because of this, the state of California is cracking down on speeding violations and traffic laws. Even with the strong stance on driving safety that California is trying to push, multi-car accidents in California still come in at high rates.
Getting Expert Help After a Multi-Car Accident in California
California is considered to be the 15th most difficult state to drive in. Even without that fact, it can seem complicated to navigate a multi-car accident in California alone.
With the right California accident lawyer, you will have a better chance of achieving appropriate compensation. You will also gain expert assistance reclaiming what you lost as a result of your incident. If you, or someone you know, has been involved in a multi-car accident, contact Alpha Accident Lawyers today.