Every year, the United States has nearly 6 million auto accidents with over 2 million injuries and tens of thousands of deaths. These accidents do not always involve just two drivers. In fact, one auto accident with two drivers can quickly escalate to involve several others. This is how we end up with pile ups on major roads, and these are often the most serious and devastating auto accidents with several tons of vehicles colliding and harming dozens of passengers in a single incident.
What happens when South Carolina auto accidents involve multiple drivers, and who is held liable and accountable for the expenses, injuries, and deaths? The answer to that question depends entirely on your situation, how the accident occurred, how many people were partly or fully responsible, and whether or not the accident had any other causes, such as roadway hazards, damaged road signals, or severe weather. There will ultimately be a thorough investigation into how the accident occurred and what caused it.
Establishing Who is Liable for a Multi-Vehicle Auto Accident in SC
In many cases, even though an auto accident involves several vehicles, it can be traced back to the negligence of a single driver. There might be cases where two or more drivers hold partial liability, but usually it will be one driver whose error caused the collision. There are also cases where a defective auto part caused the incident or where roadway hazards caused the incident. If a defective auto part was involved in the initial accident, then you may have a claim against the designer, manufacturer, or distributor. If it was a roadway hazard auto accident, then you may have a claim against whoever created the hazard, whether that is a trucking company or perhaps even the government. It all depends on the details of the accident.
It can be especially difficult to determine liability in such cases, and it is that much more important to watch what you say when talking to other drivers, the police, and especially any insurance companies that may contact you. Remember that a seemingly innocent statement – such as a simple apology to someone who is hurt – could completely bar you from recovering compensation if it is used against you as a statement against interests or an admission of liability. It will typically take further investigation to determine exactly who you should turn to for the financial compensation that you deserve and need to recover your expenses and damages. In some cases, this will require an accident reconstruction specialist to sort through the various events and circumstances that led up to the accident. Once the responsible party or parties have been identified, there will be a process of calculation to divide the liability based on each driver’s portion of legal responsibility, and based on what you are owed.
For example, if one driver is 60% responsible for the accident, then he or she is liable for at least 60% of your damages. If another driver was 40% responsible for the accident, then that driver is liable for at least 40% of your damages. So, if you imagine an accident where you sustain $10K in damages, the driver who was liable for 60% of your damages must cover at least $6K, and the driver who was liable for 40% of your damages must cover at least $4K. One exception is where your damages are deemed to be legally indivisible. In such an event, a driver found to be 50% liable or more may be legally responsible for all of your damages. Of course, it is generally not the drivers themselves who pay, but their auto insurance liability policies.
Contact David R. Price, Jr. P.A. After a Multi Vehicle Accident in South Carolina
When you’ve been injured by a multi-vehicle auto accident in South Carolina, you need a skilled car crash legal team in Greenville, SC to help you through the process of establishing liability and fighting for your right to fair compensation. As we mentioned, it can be very difficult to prove liability on top of proving your actual damages and non-economic damages, so you want to have all the help that you can get. Call David R. Price, Jr. P.A. to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.