The severity of injuries sustained in a car crash depends on a variety of factors, such as how fast the cars were traveling at the time of the crash, the number and size of the vehicles involved, and the age and health of the passengers. However, there are certain types of car crashes, such as multi-car pile-ups, that are notorious for causing serious injuries. This is in large part due to the fact that they always involve multiple vehicles, many of which are traveling at high speeds.
What Causes Multi-Car Pile-Ups?
Although multi-car pile-ups can occur in a variety of situations, these types of accidents often involve the following factors:
- Distracted driving;
- Driving while fatigued;
- Driving while intoxicated;
- High traffic density;
- Poor weather conditions;
- Speeding; and
Driving recklessly and aggressively can also lead to multi-car pile-ups, especially on busy roads or highways.
Even when it is clear that one person was clearly at fault in causing the initial collision that led to a multi-car pile-up, it can be difficult to assign liability. This is because more than one negligent driver could have contributed to the accident. For instance, if one driver attempted to see an accident that had already occurred on the side of the road and then rear ended the car in front of him, he could be held liable for resulting injuries. However, if the person behind that car was texting and so failed to see the rear-end accident and collided with the first two cars, he would also bear some of the responsibility for damage inflicted to the other cars or passengers. Even vehicle parts manufacturers can be held partly responsible for an accident if a defective part caused a driver to lose control of the car and collide with another vehicle. Furthermore, because there are so many cars involved in a multi-vehicle pile-up and so many points of impact, it can be extremely difficult for the passenger in the first car to discover which driver caused his or her specific injuries.
Fortunately, even when an injured party contributes to an accident, he or she can still collect damages from the other negligent parties. This is because Ohio follows the legal theory of comparative negligence, which allows plaintiffs who contributed to their own accidents to collect an amount that is decreased by their percentage of responsibility. However, if it is determined that a plaintiff was more than 50 percent at fault in causing the crash, he or she cannot recover anything from the other parties and may be required to compensate other victims.
Establishing fault in these types of accidents is crucial, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that as many as 40 percent of all traffic-related injuries occur as a result of multi-vehicle crashes.
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