Determining Liability in a Multi-Car Crash

In the immediate aftermath of an auto accident, of course, your first thoughts are about determining the extent of your injuries, seeing if everyone else in your car is ok, and finding out whether anyone was hurt. The second thoughts, for most people, are about figuring out “what happened”. You want to know who is responsible, who caused this, and how in the world are we going to make sure everything gets paid for?
Those are complex questions in the “average” two-car auto accident, but the challenge of answering them becomes even greater when more vehicles are involved. Maybe every party bears some degree of fault, plus you now have multiple insurance companies that all want to pay out as little as possible, which leads to potential conflict.

Assigning Responsibility

As mentioned, more than one driver may be to blame for the crash in a multi-car scenario. When it comes to determining responsibility, Texas uses a rule called modified comparative fault. This is a somewhat technical rule, but what it mostly means is this: a driver cannot recover personal injury compensation through a lawsuit if that driver is found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the crash.
Given this, it’s easy to see why one of the first legal fights among the parties in a multi-car accident is over what percentage of the blame should be assigned to each driver. The outcome of these arguments depends on the facts of your crash, and the ability of your attorney to show the true amount of responsibility you bear.

The Liability Question

Texas is an at-fault insurance state. That means, among other things, that a person involved in a car accident can seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s liability insurance company to cover personal injuries and vehicle damage. While that sounds simple, the reality is that insurance companies are quite hesitant to pay these claims, which could leave you on your own to cover medical bills and treatments.
As Dallas car accident attorneys, it then becomes our job to advocate for you, our client, to prove that the other driver was negligent and that you truly need and deserve injury compensation.

Speaking of Compensation

If your multi-car accident left you injured and your case proceeds to court, that is where the jury or judge will determine what each person’s percentage of responsibility was. Assuming you are less than 50 percent responsible, you may then be able to recover compensation for items such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The amount you eventually receive will be reduced according to how much fault you were assigned, and then usually paid by an insurance company, either yours or another party’s.

Our Team Can Help

Ted B. Lyon & Associates is a Dallas law firm that specializes in motor vehicle accidents of all kinds. We have extensive experience with multi-car crashes and can effectively advocate on your behalf. Contact us anytime for a free initial consultation.