Who Is Liable in a Chain Reaction Car Accident?

Madeleine Jones
July 16, 2019

Car accidents are a very common occurrence on Nevada roads. However, not all accidents are as straightforward as a fender-bender or any collision involving two vehicles. Sometimes, chain reaction accidents can occur, where multiple cars collide into each other. In these situations, it can be difficult to determine who is at-fault for the accident.

What Is a Chain Reaction Accident?

A chain reaction occurs when one driver collides into a vehicle, the driver of the second vehicle collides into another vehicle, and so on until multiple cars collide into each other and experience significant damage. The accident ends when a final car collides into another vehicle that does not have anyone else to crash into.

Since these accidents involve so many different drivers and occur in a small area, with extensive damage, it can be very difficult to determine fault. A single driver’s negligence could lead to the start of the accident, but the other drivers may engage in reckless behaviors that lead to the other collisions as well. Proving who was at-fault involves extensive investigation from attorneys, forensic experts, and law enforcement.

Determining Fault in a Chain Reaction Accident

Nevada follows a traditional fault car insurance system. Under the fault system, the driver who was at-fault for causing the car accident is responsible for paying the damages of the other people involved in the accident. These damages can include medical expenses, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.

In a chain-reaction car accident, it can be extremely difficult to determine who is responsible for paying for these damages. When you name the driver or drivers responsible for the accident in your lawsuit or claim, you will have to determine whose negligence or carelessness caused the accident. Proving someone’s fault in a chain reaction accident will require you and your attorney to establish the following four elements.

  • The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care to drive safely and follow traffic laws.
  • The at-fault driver breached his or her duty by driving recklessly or breaking traffic laws.
  • The breach of duty of care led to the injuries and losses you suffered in the accident.
  • You can recover compensation for these injuries and losses through your lawsuit or insurance claim.

Chain reaction accidents can involve multiple at-fault parties, depending on how the accident happened in the first place (it could have been caused by the first driver rubbernecking). Any driver who breached his or her duty of care in this situation could be partially liable for the accident.

Benefits of Hiring an Attorney for a Chain Reaction Accident Case

Chain reaction car accidents can be very complex and involve multiple at-fault parties. Even if you followed the rules of the road and did not breach your duty of care, you could be at risk of an insurance claim or lawsuit naming you as a liable party. Hiring an attorney to assist you with your chain reaction accident claim can help you prove that other drivers are liable for your injuries and recover compensatory damages.

  • Your attorney will have access to valuable resources to build your claim. He or she can reconstruct the accident, review surveillance footage, collect witness testimony, and consult with experts to determine liability and build your case.
  • Your attorney will have experience working with complex car accident cases, including chain reaction accidents. He or she will know what to look for in your situation and how to strategize naming at-fault parties.
  • Negotiating with insurance companies can be difficult without an attorney, especially in chain-reaction accident cases. The adjuster may try to place a portion of the blame on you and reduce your total compensation. Your attorney can evaluate your settlement offers and negotiate with the insurance company for a higher settlement offer.

As soon as possible following your chain reaction accident, document the scene and seek medical attention. After these initial steps, contact our Las Vegas car accident lawyers to assist you with the investigation, insurance negotiations, and determining liability.