Multi-car crashes are all common in New York. Just recently, icy and snowy conditions were partly to blame for several multi-car crashes in the greater New York City area and a multi-vehicle crash shut down part of the New York Thruway recently. Wherever you are in New York, being involved and injured in a multi-car accident may leave you with many questions around liability and how to recover compensation for your losses.
Multi-vehicle accidents involve three or more vehicles in the same accident. For instance, when one driver is speeding through a red light and then hits another driver coming through the intersection who then crashes into a third car. Pileups are also considered multi-car accidents.
Who Is Responsible in a Multi-Car Accident?
In order to determine who the "at fault" driver is, it is important to look at the circumstances of how that particular car accident played out. Just as in any accident, any driver who was acting negligently or recklessly may be found to be at fault in the accident. Examples of negligent driving include:
- Failure to obey traffic signals or signs (as in running a red light)
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Reckless, aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs (legal or not) or alcohol
Insurance adjusters examine all of the evidence at hand to determine fault in an accident.
What If More Than One Driver Is At Fault in a Multi-Car Accident?
The insurance company will investigate the crash and determine how much each driver contributed to the cause of the accident, if they contributed at all. In multi-car crashes, it is fairly common for all drivers to bear some level of liability but figuring out exactly how much will take a great deal of investigation and a skilled New York car accident attorney on your side to build your case.
Even if you are partially at-fault in the accident, you still may be able to pursue a personal injury case. New York allows injury claims even if you bear some liability for the accident under comparative negligence laws. In these cases, the amount of financial compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault you bear. If the settlement agreement or jury finds that you were 10 percent responsible for the accident, your settlement award would be reduced by 10 percent.
Filing a Claim in a Multi-Car Crash in New York
New York’s no-fault insurance laws dictate that you first file a claim against your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. If the cost of your injuries – both physical and emotional – and your missed time from work exceed your PIP coverage, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver(s). If you were injured in the auto accident, or your car is damaged, due to someone else’s negligence, New York law allows you to be able to make a claim against that other person’s auto insurance policy for bodily injury and property damage liability. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may also be able to sue for pain and suffering caused by the accident.
Get a Free Case Evaluation Now
Pursuing a legal claim for a multi-vehicle accident may seem like a daunting task but we encourage you to consider allowing our team of attorneys at Brandon J Broderick to help you through the process. Even if the crash was partly your fault, without a legal claim, the insurance company can offer you a lowball offer that barely covers any of your needs and may even refuse to cover some of the damages. You may be left having to pay for the costs of your injuries on your own.
The New York car accident lawyers of Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, will handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf and work toward securing the compensation you rightfully deserve. And, if an agreeable negotiation can’t be had, we won’t hesitate to take the case to trial -- and win.