Determining Fault in Multi-Vehicle Accident Pileups

Car accidents can be traumatic, life-altering events, especially when they involve multiple vehicles. These chain-reaction crashes often result in devastating injuries, substantial property damage, and complex questions of legal liability. A skilled car accident attorney can take on the process of determining who is liable for your injuries and pursue the compensation you need to rebuild your life.

How Multi-Vehicle Accidents Happen

Multi-vehicle pileups can occur in various ways. In many cases, they begin with one driver’s negligence and mushroom as surrounding motorists cannot stop in time to avoid the initial collision. These pileups frequently occur on highways and interstates, where high speeds and congested traffic leave little room for error.

Unique Challenges in Determining Fault

Figuring out who caused a multi-vehicle crash is rarely straightforward. These accidents often involve numerous impacts happening quickly, and identifying a single point of origin is challenging. Drivers and witnesses may have conflicting accounts of what transpired, and physical evidence from the scene can be misleading if vehicles were pushed into each other after the initial collision.

To further complicate matters, more than one driver may share the blame for the pileup. A car that set off the chain reaction by rear-ending another vehicle may have been struck from behind itself due to another motorist’s negligence. In this situation, the driver in the middle may bear liability for the crash with the car ahead but also have a valid claim against the vehicle behind.

Comparative negligence laws add another wrinkle to multi-vehicle accident cases. Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence rule, meaning an injured party can seek compensation if they were not more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.

How an Attorney Can Help

If you suffered injuries in a multi-vehicle crash, you need an experienced car accident lawyer to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. Your attorney will immediately investigate the pileup to secure valuable evidence before it disappears. This may include:

  • Photos and videos from the crash scene
  • Dashcam or surveillance camera footage
  • Accident reconstruction expert analysis
  • Police accident reports
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Vehicle damage reports
  • Cell phone records
  • Toxicology results

Using this evidence and their knowledge of Illinois traffic laws, your lawyer will describe how the pileup occurred and which driver or driver contributed to the crash. They may work with accident reconstruction specialists to create detailed diagrams, 3D models, and computer simulations that demonstrate the sequence of events and identify the negligent parties.

Experts can also help refute claims that you caused or contributed to the pileup. Shifting blame to other drivers is a common insurance company tactic for reducing liability. Still, a skilled attorney will fight back against these attempts and work to minimize any fault attributed to you under comparative negligence rules.

A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will also gather extensive documentation of your injuries and losses, including medical records, expert opinions, and testimony from family, friends, and colleagues. This evidence helps paint a picture of how your injuries have impacted your life and the challenges you will face. Your attorney will use this information to pursue full and fair compensation for:

  • Past, current, and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages and reduced future earning potential
  • Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
  • Scarring, disfigurement, and permanent impairments
  • Loss of enjoyment and quality of life

Experienced Legal Guidance When You Need It Most

Multi-vehicle accident cases are highly complex, often involving numerous injured parties, multiple insurance companies, and competing fault claims. Solid legal representation may give you all the compensation you need and deserve.

At Stein & Shulman, LLC, we have over 60 years of experience advocating for car accident victims in the Northbrook area. Our attorneys understand the trauma and turmoil a serious crash causes, and we are here to serve as your trusted partners and fierce legal advocates during this challenging time.

Contact Our Northbrook Car Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a multi-vehicle pileup, contact the seasoned Northbrook car accident lawyers at Stein & Shulman, LLC today for a free consultation. We will review your case, answer your questions, and discuss how we can help you pursue the justice and recovery you deserve.