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Who is at Fault in a Multi-Vehicle Accident?

One of the most essential elements of a personal injury claim is to determine fault. When there is a motor vehicle accident involving two cars, the number of people that are potentially at fault for the situation is very limited. In these cases, it typically is very easy to determine which driver is at fault. An accident involving three vehicles becomes a little more challenging, depending on the circumstances. When there are multiple cars involved in an accident, however, determining fault can be a quite difficult task.

Multi-vehicle accidents are often simply a rapid series of one or two-car accidents. The most common cause of these accidents is one vehicle following another vehicle too closely. In this situation, police officers and insurance company adjusters assign fault just as they would in a routine one or two-car accidents. In a true multi-vehicle accident involving three or more vehicles in a single collision, though, determining fault is not quite so easy. The first question is what accident occurred first. Once the first accident is identified, as well as the driver at fault for the first accident, then the question will become whether that driver caused only the first accident, or caused all of the collisions. It is also entirely possible that there is more than one driver at fault for the accident, or drivers with varying degrees of fault for the accident.

There often is a variety of evidence available to help determine fault. This evidence may include debris from the crashed vehicles, skid marks from braking vehicles, and the position of the vehicles when they came to rest. Witness statements, testimony of the drivers and passengers in the vehicles, and even an expert reconstruction of the accident may be necessary to truly determine which driver is at fault for the accident.

Multi-vehicle accidents can be complex situations in which it is difficult to discern who bears responsibility. Individuals who suffer injuries or even death as a result of a vehicle crash may have valid legal claims for damages under Wisconsin law. The Wisconsin personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan know how to stand up for the rights of those who have been injured, and how to hold negligent or reckless drivers financially responsible for their actions. Call us today at (608) 268-0268 and set up an appointment for us to assist you with your legal needs.