How is the Determination of Fault in a Multi-Car Accident?
If you’ve been in an accident with multiple cars, the only thing on your mind is who to call and how to get out of there. You probably don’t think about the legal implications of what just happened. But it pays off to know a bit of fault determination before taking any action.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, car accident advocates will guide you well on the correct legal process to follow. Book an appointment with a top-class Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney. Below is an elaboration on the fault determination in multi-car accidents.
Understanding the Principle of Negligence
When two or more motorists are involved in an accident, it is not uncommon for multiple claims associated with the incident. For example, if you rear-end someone who was stopped at a red light, your damages may include damage to your car as well as medical bills/lost wages of the person you hit. These extra claims can get complicated, but the basic principle of negligence still applies.
To understand fault determination in a multi-car accident, you must first understand the principle of negligence. In a nutshell, liability occurs when one party fails to meet the expected standard of care while driving. It could mean anything from running a red light to texting and driving to driving under the influence.
Proving of Negligence
In a car accident case, negligence must be proven before pursuance of any claims. It happens by establishing what duty of care each party owed to the other and then showing that the party in question failed to meet that standard.
For example, in a rear-end accident, the driver who hit the car in front of them is typically considered negligent. This is because the driver had a duty to maintain a safe distance between their vehicle and the car in front of them, and they failed to do so
Establishing Fault in a Multi-Car Accident
Once negligence has been established, the next step is to determine the fault for the accident. Ina multi-car accidents, the court typically applies a modified comparative fault approach. It means that each party involved will get a percentage of fault, and damages will be allocated accordingly.
What does this mean practically? If motorists A, B, and C are involved in an accident together, and A is determined to be 80% at fault, their damages will reduce by 80%. If A is 40% at fault, only 60 percent of their injuries will be allocated to the other drivers.
For example, let’s say you are involved in a multi-car accident with five cars total. Four out of the five drivers are determined to have been negligent. If you are the only driver who was not negligent, you would be entitled to 100 percent of your damages.
If you were 20% negligent, you would be entitled to 80% of your damages. The court, however, will determine fault on a case-by-case basis. Also, it’s good to note that some states will split responsibility between all parties, regardless of who is at fault.
If you’ve been in an accident with multiple cars, the only thing on your mind is who to call and how to get out of there. It pays off to engage a reliable car accident lawyer. This is because they understand the principle of negligence and fault determination.