When you are suddenly hit in a multi-vehicle car accident so many questions can start to flood your mind, such as, “How did that happen?” or “Who is going to pay for my injuries and the damage to my car?”
If this sounds all too familiar, call us the attorneys at Hancock Injury Attorneys, we are here to help.
Almost one-third of all car accidents are multi-vehicle collisions. Not only are these accidents overwhelming, but they are legally complicated. When more than two cars come into play, it is even more difficult to prove who was liable for the accident. Additionally, more than one person may be responsible. After an accident with multiple vehicles, you will likely have to deal with several insurance companies. This makes the claims process much more complicated and time-consuming, which is why you should work with a multi-vehicle car accident attorney in Tampa.
Multi-vehicle crashes have the potential to be very serious, especially when cars are piled-up, and drivers cannot escape their vehicles. If a car catches fire with the driver and passengers inside, they could suffer severe burns. Even if the vehicle does not catch fire, the occupants might not be able to get enough oxygen. If you or a loved one were in a severe accident with multiple cars, reach out to a Tampa vehicle collision lawyer to learn about your legal options.
How Do Multi-Car Accidents Happen in Tampa?
By nature, multi-vehicle accidents most commonly occur on highways where hundreds—if not thousands—of drivers travel in the same direction in close proximity to each other. Under these conditions, a single driver braking too quickly, changing lanes without signaling, or side-swiping another vehicle could lead to someone losing control of their car and hitting another driver.
If one motorist is impacted, they might hit another driver nearby, who hits another driver, and so on until dozens of vehicles are involved, and dozens of people are hurt. When distracted or drunk drivers are on the road, they are more likely to cause these large-scale accidents.
Inclement weather conditions also significantly increase the chances of a multi-car pile-up on an interstate highway or state route. The loss of traction and low visibility can make small mistakes on the road turn into catastrophic accidents. Multi-vehicle collisions in Tampa can also result from disasters such as brush fires. In an unfortunate 2008 accident, a mix of brush fire smoke and fog led to a massive pile-up between Tampa and Orlando involving 70 different vehicles and resulting in numerous injuries.
How Is Liability for a Crash Determined When Multiple Drivers are Involved?
Multi-car accidents tend to have a domino effect, so determining exactly who is at fault can be a challenging endeavor. You must analyze several accident scenes, examine multiple mangled vehicles, and interpret many (often conflicting) eyewitness accounts. The process can be difficult for even the most seasoned legal professionals, so you should not attempt to handle a case on your own. When you work with an experienced car accident attorney, the resources you have and we have, to investigate the accident open, and you are more likely to secure the highest possible compensation.
Pure Comparative Negligence in Tampa
To make matters worse, it is common for more than one person to bear some fault for a car accident involving multiple drivers. For example, one person side-swiping another may have been the initial cause of a multi-car collision, but a driver who was texting behind the wheel may have made the accident far worse by failing to notice the incident ahead of them.
Florida follows a pure comparative negligence system when it comes to civil litigation. According to this legal concept, all parties responsible for a collision must bear a portion of liability, even the accident victim. Fortunately, if you were injured in a crash and deemed partially responsible, you may still recover compensation. However, your damages award may be reduced proportionately to your percentage of fault whether you pursue a private settlement or a lawsuit.
Do Large-Scale Accidents Mean Larger Settlements?
While it is true that multi-car pile-ups tend to allow for significantly greater civil recovery than smaller-scale incidents, the fact that the collision involved multiple parties does not inherently increase the settlement value. Instead, these types of accidents often result in larger settlements because they result in more severe harm to those involved. In the wake of a multi-vehicle accident, injured Tampa drivers may have to contend with losses such as:
- Months of expensive medical treatment and subsequent medical bills
- Significant loss of income due to time spent out of work
- The costs of replacing their vehicle
- Immense physical and psychological suffering
Once you identify the responsible parties, you can pursue a settlement for all these current and future losses. Because the insurance company will likely urge you to settle for less than the case is worth, it is best to seek help from a skilled legal professional.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You With a Multi-Vehicle Accident in Tampa
At Hancock Injury Attorneys, we understand that the full value of your claim may extend well beyond the policy limits and lowball estimates that insurers typically insist on. Insurance companies may not care about the long-term effects of your accident or the impact it has on your quality of life, but we do.
With decades of experience, insider knowledge of the insurance defense field a reputation for aggressive representation, and valuable relationships with experts in car crash investigations, our car accident lawyers can often make a compelling case that you are entitled to more than what the insurer is offering. Studies show that, on average, insurance companies pay out almost triple the amount of money in cases where the victim is represented by an experienced auto accident attorney. Additionally, you may have many options for compensation above and beyond your personal injury protection policy, and we can pursue those for you.
If you have been injured in a multi-vehicle accident in Tampa, call Hancock Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation and evaluation of your case and learn how we can protect your interests. Talk to an attorney directly to see what we can do for you.