In 2020, there were over 1,500 multi-car accident fatalities in the state of California. Multi-car accidents involve three or more cars, which can create more chaos and confusion than a two-car collision.
Determining fault in a multi-car accident can be particularly tricky. You will need to know which driver was responsible for the accident in order to file a personal injury report and claim compensation.
How are these complicated accidents handled in San Bernardino? What steps should you take after sustaining injuries in a multi-car accident?
Read on to learn about multi-car accidents and how they are handled in San Bernardino.
What Should You Do After a Multi-Car Accident?
How your car accident case is handled will start with your initial actions. If you have sustained serious or life-threatening injuries, your top priority is calling for emergency medical care.
Get Documentation of the Accident
Make sure that someone notifies the police, who will take a thorough police report of the accident. In addition, take photos and videos of the accident from multiple angles. If anyone involved has a dashcam, ask for a copy of any footage they got of the accident.
If possible, exchange information with everyone involved in the accident. You should also be able to recover this information from the police report if necessary. Do not discuss the accident with other drivers or admit any degree of fault.
Seek Medical Care
If you did not require immediate medical care, head to your local doctor once the accident is cleared and you’ve collected documentation and contact information. Oftentimes, victims of car accidents experience shock in the minutes or hours after the accident occurs, which can prevent them from identifying serious injuries. Plus, you will need ample evidence of your injuries to file a personal injury claim, so it’s essential to visit your doctor and obtain medical records after the incident.
Contact an Experienced San Bernardino Accident Attorney
Contact an experienced San Bernardino accident attorney. Victims who sustain significant injuries in car accidents often face serious financial strain due to:
- extensive medical bills
- lost income
- property damage
- additional non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering
Claiming compensation in a personal injury claim can be challenging, especially when determining fault requires an active investigation. A personal injury attorney can guide you through this process.
Evidence Used to Determine Fault in Multi-Car Accidents
Determining fault in a multi-car accident presents unique challenges. Without determining fault, you will not be able to file a personal injury claim against the liable party in order to recover damages. With the help of your car accident attorney, you will need to compile the following evidence.
When building your case and determining fault, always include the police report. Police reports do not provide conclusive evidence as to who caused a multi-car accident. However, they do provide thorough documentation of where and when the accident occurred, possible circumstances that led to the accident, and all parties involved.
Additional Documentation of the Accident
The photo and video evidence you took of the accident are also crucial. Your lawyer can examine these documents and any dashcam footage you may have recovered. The angles at which vehicles collide in a multi-car accident can reveal the chain reaction that occurred and possible causes.
Eyewitness statements are essential to have after a multi-car accident. This may include other involved drivers and passengers as well as passersby. Each driver can offer a different vantage point, so the more witnesses you talk to, the better. A personal injury lawyer can help you collect witness statements as evidence supporting your case.
Expert Witness Testimony
Experienced car accident attorneys can call on expert witnesses including:
- car accident reconstruction experts
- medical experts
Expert witnesses examine the evidence provided and offer their expert opinions. For example, a car accident reconstruction expert will look at the documentation of the accident and reconstruct how the accident occurred. These expert witnesses add authority to your claims when certain hard evidence isn’t available.
The types of injuries you’ve sustained can also tell an experienced attorney more about your car accident case. With the help of expert witnesses, attorneys will look at the extent of the injuries you suffered in the accident. This can reveal more about the multiple collisions that occurred.
What If More Than One Driver Is At Fault?
In a multi-car accident, it’s possible that more than one driver is at fault. One driver’s negligence may have set the accident in motion by, for example, rear-ending the car in front of them. However, other drivers may have failed to prevent a subsequent accident from occurring by not reacting quickly enough or appropriately.
Even if you are found partially at fault for a multi-car accident, you may still have the opportunity to recover damages from other at-fault drivers. California is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that drivers who share fault can still recover damages proportionate to their own liability. For example, if you are 50% at fault, you could still recover up to 50% of the damages you’ve sustained.
If you share no liability, but multiple drivers are found responsible for the accident, you can file a claim against all at-fault drivers.
Work With the Best Car Accident Attorney in San Bernardino
Multi-car accidents have claimed countless lives and caused thousands of injuries in San Bernardino. They also present unique challenges to victims seeking financial justice. If you’ve been injured in a multi-car accident in San Bernardino, it’s essential to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Arrowhead Accident Attorneys are proud to represent accident victims in San Bernardino. To get started, contact us and request a free case evaluation. We will do our best to secure the compensation you deserve.