Liability in Mississippi Multiple Vehicle Pileups
Multiple vehicle collisions and pileups are notorious for their deadliness and localized destruction. In the blink of an eye, one collision between two vehicles can turn into a mass of twisted metal and broken glass affecting a countless number of drivers and passengers, as recently happened in a multiple car wreck just outside of Jackson. Instead of a single impact, passengers and drivers are at risk of being hit numerous times from multiple angles all at high speeds. It is essentially multiple car accidents occurring at the same time. After the devastation and injuries are accounted for, those injured often ask to whom they should turn in order to pay for their recovery. Unfortunately, the answer may not be clear.
Assigning Liability to Everyone Involved
Determining fault in a multiple vehicle collision is a complex process. This is due to the fact that all drivers have a duty of care that they owe to other drivers and pedestrians around them. That duty of care is to drive as a reasonable driver would and to drive prudently under the circumstances. When that duty of care is not exercised, a driver may be driving negligently. When one driver’s negligent act becomes the factual and proximate (legal) cause of injuries to another driver, the injured driver may have a right to recover compensation from the driver who caused the accident.
In a simple two-vehicle collision, fault is often fairly easy to determine. One driver could be responsible or both drivers could be partly responsible. But the more drivers involved in an accident, the more difficult it becomes to parse out the liability of each party to each other. Are the drivers who got in the initial accident liable to every single driver and passenger who becomes involved in the multiple car pileup? Are the drivers who failed to stop in time to avoid the accident liable to the drivers they have now injured by hitting the other vehicles?
More Factors to Consider
Compounding the mess that is a multiple vehicle collision are the conditions that usually surround them. Multiple vehicle collisions are much more likely to occur when:
- There are low visibility conditions like a white-out, intense rain or heavy fog;
- There is ice, water or a foreign substance on the road that drivers fail to account for;
- There are obstacles on the road that a driver does not see before it is too late, like debris or a wild animal.
These are just examples of weather and road conditions that can cause a multiple vehicle wreck. These do not even account for driver errors such as being on the cell phone, not paying attention to the road and failing to obey traffic laws like the speed limit or driving too close behind another vehicle. Failing to pay attention to your surroundings and other vehicles on the road is negligent behavior and can result in liability being assigned to you in a multiple vehicle accident.
Contact Professional Legal Help
There is no fool-proof 100% accurate formula for determining liability. It depends entirely on the facts of the incident and how these facts are presented. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that you are represented by a personal injury attorney familiar with automobile accidents who can argue the facts to best represent your interests. Being blamed for causing an accident can reduce or eliminate your recovery.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a multiple vehicle accident, you should contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy Guice. The attorneys at this Biloxi based law firm have decades of experience in fighting for the rights of those injured due to another’s negligence. Call them today at (228) 374-9787 for a free initial confidential consultation.