Multi-car accidents are very common. It's estimated that up to ⅓ of all car accidents involve more than two vehicles. In Tennessee, 46% of all accidents were multi-vehicle accidents in 2015. Multi-car accidents also include pile-ups and chain-reaction accidents. Not many people know what to do in the instance of a multi-vehicle accident, but it's best to be prepared.
Multi-car accidents can be more deadly than single car accidents.
The first step in any accident is to put on your hazard lights and keep your seatbelt on. Do not move or leave your vehicle until you know for certain that it is safe to do so.
Call 911 and alert them of the accident, or tell someone to call 911 if you are unable. When police arrive, they will record all information provided by witnesses and other drivers about what happened. This can be quite an ordeal. For instance, in North Carolina in 2016 there was a chain-reaction accident that involved 130 cars. Getting these accounts can help determine who is at fault for causing the accident.
There are several ways someone can be at fault for causing a multi-car accident.
Using a cell phone, driving aggressively, speeding, and even not paying attention can be a reason for fault.
If negligence in causing an accident is proven, potential for legal action exists.
However, not all multi-vehicle accidents are the result of human error. Fog, rain, snow, even health emergencies have lead to multi-vehicle accidents. For instance, if someone is driving safely on the highway during icy conditions, they could hit black ice. A car that was safely following behind hits them, which causes a pile-up. Since the accident was circumstantial, no driver was "at fault" for the accident.
After you've returned home from an accident, it is best to document your thoughts and write them down while they are still fresh. Contact your insurance company and tell them you've been involved in an accident. If they ask you to make a recorded statement, or ask you any questions, it's important to answer them consistently. If you need help on this, read our recent blog on recorded statements.
We hope no one is ever in a multi-vehicle accident, but if you are, and there is another driver at fault, we can help.