Multiple Car Collision: What You Need To Know

Multiple Car Collision: What You Need To Know

multi car collision backed up freewayChain Reaction Car Accidents in Connecticut

Car accidents are common, and in one form or another, happen every single day. Though there are different types, with some being more severe than others, often depending on several factors: speed, location, and the kind of vehicle. And while any wreck can be tragic, multi-car accidents, or a chain-reaction crash, is often considered to be one of the deadliest, mainly because they occur on high-capacity and high-speed routes.

In 2015 alone, 109 people died due to multi-vehicle crashes in Connecticut, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Recovering After a Multi-Car Pileup

If you or a loved one has been affected by a multi-car collision, then The Flood Law Firm wants to hear from you. While we may not be able to undo your pain and suffering, we do offer our deepest sympathies.

Though you may want nothing more than to simply recover from the damage this has caused you, instead, you may find yourself faced with the dread of trying to resolve your suffering in the legal world. When more than one vehicle is involved in a collision, it’s hard to tell who is at fault. That’s why having a professional team of attorneys who know what you are going through can make all the difference in helping you to move forward.

Speak To An Experienced Auto Accident Attorney in Connecticut

Talking to an experienced lawyer is as easy as calling us at (860) 346-2695. Your consultation is not only confidential, but 100% free of charge with no obligation to hire us for your legal needs. We promise to make the process as smooth and convenient for you as possible.

About Multi-Car Collisions

Known as “multiple vehicle collisions,” “multi-car collisions,” “chain-reaction crashes” and “pileups,” these types of crashes are often critical and even deadly. While single-car crashes can be just as fatal, wrecks that involve multiple parties stand to create the most damage.

It’s true: Per the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a car crash occurs every 60 seconds. In total, that’s almost six million crashes a year. Out of those six million crashes, one-third involve multiple-vehicle collisions.

As mentioned above, multiple-vehicle collisions, or chain-reaction crashes, can be deadly, and usually cause a wide range of injuries and damage. For example:

  • In 1990, dense fog contributed to a 99-vehicle pileup on Interstate 75 in Calhoun, Tennessee that left 12 dead and 42 injured.
  • In 1995, a 200-car collision on Interstate 10 in Mobile, Alabama saw just one death but over 90 injuries, also attributed to thick fog.
  • In 2012, a 150-vehicle crash on Interstate 10 in Jefferson County, Texas killed 2 and injured another 100.
  • In 2015, a massive pileup involving eight vehicles on I-95 in eastern Connecticut resulted in massive casualties and injuries.
  • In 2016, wet roads in Alamance County, North Carolina caused a 130-car crash on Interstate 85 and Interstate 40. Miraculously, none were killed and only 20 sustained injuries.

Put simply, the more vehicles involved in a wreck, the greater the damage - including and up to death. Multi-car accidents are especially deadly with their high number of crushed vehicles that make it hard for survivors to escape.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a similar situation, then we offer our deepest sympathies. A chain-reaction crash can often be life-changing, and though your main focus following the incident should be to heal or grieve, you will likely face legal burdens almost immediately — let us help you. The Flood Law Firm is knowledgeable and experienced in this particular area, and we want to assist you in moving on from this unfortunate experience.

What Causes Multi-Car Collisions?

Multi-car pileups generally occur on busier high-speed routes, such as multi-lane freeways. Like any crash, a driver’s negligence is usually to blame, however, wrecks can occur from a multitude of factors, such as:

Weather Conditions

Torrential rain, blizzards, sleet, black ice, and fog all affect roadways and cause even the most experienced of drivers to brake unexpectedly, abruptly change lanes, or lose control of the vehicle completely.

Driver Distractions

Texting, checking email on a smartphone, eating, tending to children in the backseat, reaching for something, and even talking to a passenger are all potentially deadly distractions and cut a driver’s reaction time in half.

Driving Under the Influence

This includes any substance that impairs a driver’s ability to be 100% alert while driving, including but not limited to alcohol, certain prescription drugs, and even over-the-counter medications like cold and flu medicine that cause drowsiness. The Mothers Against Drunk Driving Organization (MADD) reports that every two minutes, at least one person is injured in a drunk driving crash.

Road & Vehicle Defects

Poor design and dilapidated roads can directly impair driving abilities, while car defects such as bald tires, broken turn signals, and seatbelt or airbag failure can be just as deadly.

Sleep Deprivation

Falling asleep at the wheel or driving while fatigued is just as dangerous as driving while under the influence. In fact, one in five accidents are caused by sleepy drivers, according to the Huffington Post.

What To Do After a Chain Reaction Pileup

Accidents are scary and overwhelming. Unless you’ve experienced a wreck before, it’s hard to determine how you will react, until you’re physically placed into the moment. However, following a chain reaction pileup, there are certain actions you may wish to take to prepare you for what’s to come.

Be Safe

Be mindful of your surroundings. Because multiple-vehicle collisions consist of three of more vehicles, it’s hard to predict where your car will end up on the road. Other travelers may be susceptible to the crash. To avoid further injuries, you may find it necessary to exit your vehicle and find a safe location until professional help arrives.

Never Leave The Scene Of The Accident

You should always stay at the scene of the accident. The worst thing you can do is flee – it’s illegal. It’s important to be cooperative with other victims, as well as the police offers who show up at the scene. You will probably have to give a statement.

All Elements Considered

When determining liability in a multi-car accident, a lot of elements must be considered. Every piece of information is considered, including the police report, witness statements, and any analysis from an accident reconstruction expert.

Document Evidence If Possible

Of course, if you’re injured, then it’s vital to stay put – don’t move until emergency assistance arrives. Since each driver will most likely have a different version of what happened, collecting as much concrete evidence as possible is imperative.  Yet, if you’re condition is fine, then consider taking pictures of the crash. Regarding insurance claims, photographs will prove to be helpful in determining how the accident happened, and who’s at fault.

Never Admit Fault

And in any kind of collision, you should never admit fault – even if you think you might be to blame. You may have good intentions, but doing so could ruin your case and cost you thousands of dollars.

If you are uncomfortable talking to the police, remember that you always have the option to contact a lawyer. The Flood Law Firm offers a free, no-obligation consultation. If you’ve been involved in a chain reaction pileup accident, then consider calling us today.

Determining Liability

Liability in multi-car collisions is determined in one of two ways: comparative negligence and contributory negligence. We can help you better understand these terms might mean for you.

  • Comparative negligence determines liability in proportion to how a party’s actions caused or contributed to the collision.
  • Contributory negligence determines that an injured person can only be compensated for injuries and damages if he or she did not contribute to the accident in any way.

Did drivers maintain safe following distances?

One rule that usually comes into play with most chain reaction pileup accidents, is that drivers must leave a safe space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them. This allows for a proper stopping time, in the off chance that there are impromptu road hazards or unexpected situations (i.e. the lead car slamming on its brakes).

A driver who fails to maintain a safe following distance, and in turn, rear-ends the lead car, will most likely be considered at fault, or negligent.

Fault in a Multi-Car Collisions

Though multiple-vehicle collisions are common and have routinely taken place throughout the State of Connecticut, determining who is at fault is not always an easy task. Due to the fact that you may be struck more than once, identifying which specific vehicle is responsible for causing your injuries and property damage is vital. You may even discover that more than one driver is at fault.

Determining Fault

Because of the multiple parties involved in these kinds of crashes, the legal implications can be stressful and frustrating. Who is liable? Was it negligence?

In other words, anyone in a multi-car pileup wants to know: who is at fault? And more importantly, who is going to pay for your medical bills and all the damage this has caused you?

Determining which driver is negligent will ultimately decide which driver’s carelessness caused the accident. There are numerous sources that can assist you in getting the answers you need, such as:

  • Eyewitness accounts (i.e. your own, passengers in each car, passerby, etc.)
  • Police reports of the accident
  • Vehicle damage
  • Evidence at the scene (i.e. skid marks, vehicle debris, etc.)

How The Flood Law Firm Can Help

No matter how you look at car accidents, they are terrifying and often bring with them a variety of devastating consequences. While injuries in a chain-reaction crash can be as mild as a headache or sore neck, more severe results can transpire — even death. If you or a loved has been affected by a chain reaction pileup accident, then it’s time to act.

When it comes to car accidents, The Flood Law Firm has years of experience, and in a range of areas. We will handle every aspect of your case, from obtaining medical records to making phone calls. Our attorneys will ensure that this process is as inconvenient as possible, allowing you to focus all your energy on healing or grieving.

Put Connecticut’s premier auto accident attorneys on your side and contact The Flood Law Firm today by calling (860) 346-2695. You’ll get to speak with one of our skilled attorneys for yourself at no cost and no obligation.

We only work on contingency, meaning we won’t take a fee unless we successfully argue your case. The Flood Law Firm is here to stand up for you.

Brian Flood


Brian has dedicated his entire legal career to helping accident victims. By choice, he has never represented the interests of an insurance company.

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