Being in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence can be scary and frustrating; being involved in a multi-vehicle accident where fault is uncertain and damages are suffered by many can be even more confusing. At the law office of McCormick & Murphy, P.C., our Colorado Springs multi-vehicle accident lawyers can help you to determine how the accident occurred and who should be held liable, calculate your damages, and bring forth a successful claim for damages. If you’ve been in a multi-vehicle accident–also called a pile-up crash–in Colorado Springs or a surrounding area, don’t hesitate to call our law firm for the legal advice and counsel you need. 

Causes of Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Multi-vehicle accidents, like all other car accident types, are most often the result of the negligence of one or more drivers. To be sure, the following unsafe behaviors may also contribute to the occurrence of a multi-vehicle accident:

  • Speeding or driving too fast for conditions;

  • Driving too slowly for conditions;

  • Following too closely/tailgating;

  • Performing an illegal lane change;

  • Driving aggressively;

  • Driving while distracted;

  • Driving while impaired; and

  • Driving while fatigued. 

Keeping the above in mind, note that pile-up accidents are usually more common in areas of high traffic congestion, including roadside construction zones. In addition to driver negligence, other factors that may contribute to a multi-vehicle accident include poor weather or lighting, as well as unsafe road conditions (i.e. debris in the road). 

Injuries in Multi-Vehicle Accidents

When a pile-up accident or multi-vehicle accident happens, it is often characterized by one car hitting another as a result of the collision of the first two vehicles involved. Injuries can range from mild to severe depending on the angle of vehicles, whether or not the occupants involved are wearing their seatbelts at the time of the collision, and the speed at which vehicles are traveling when they collide. Injuries that are common include:

  • Head, neck, and back injuries;

  • Soft tissue injuries, especially whiplash;

  • Facial injuries;

  • Bone fracture injuries;

  • Traumatic brain injuries; and

  • Spinal cord injuries.

Of course, the above list is not exhaustive. 

Who’s Liable for a Multi-Vehicle Accident in Colorado Springs?

One of the most complicated parts of a bringing forth a multi-vehicle accident claim in Colorado Springs is determining who’s liable for the crash. For example, if there are six different vehicles and six different drivers involved, who’s to blame, and who should be held liable for your damages?

Our Colorado Springs multi-vehicle accident attorneys are highly skilled in accident investigations and will open a thorough investigation into your crash in order to determine fault. This investigation will not only include talking to eyewitnesses and reviewing all evidence, but also hiring accident reconstruction and other experts who can investigate, too. 

Fault for a car accident, regardless of how many vehicles are involved, is based on negligence in Colorado. Negligence is the failure to act with a reasonable degree of care. Things like following too closely are common negligent acts that lead to pile-ups and, as such, liability may be shared by more than one party. 

Comparative Negligence in Colorado 

In Colorado, a system of modified comparative negligence is used in accident and injury cases. This is a system for determining each party’s degree of fault, and therefore the liability of each party and how much they may have to pay (or be eligible to receive) in damages. In a modified comparative negligence system, fault may be shared by multiple parties. The contributory negligence of a claimant who is seeking damages shall not bar them from recovery, so long as their degree of negligence is “not as great as the negligence of the person against whom recovery is sought.” In other words, if a claimant is found to be partially to blame in a multi-vehicle collision accident–i.e. Perhaps they were following too closely or traveling a little bit too fast–then they can still seek damages against another party so long as they were less than 50 percent to blame. Then, the claimant’s damages will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. So, if you are a claimant who is found to be 10 percent at fault, you can only hold the defendant–or set of defendants–liable for 90 percent of your total harm. 

Start the Claims Process Today 

It can be difficult to start the claims process immediately after a crash, especially if you are physically injured and therefore incapacitated. Even as you heal, though, you may be dealing with emotional wounds that make it challenging to initiate a claim. 

However, as trying as it may be to start the claims process, it is critical that you do this as soon as possible after being involved in a crash. There are multiple reasons for this, including:

  • The longer that you wait to take action, the greater the risk is of evidence being destroyed. Especially in a multi-vehicle accident where determining fault is already tricky, reviewing evidence when it is freshest is critical to proving fault and liability. 

  • If you wait too long to file, you risk breaching the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the amount of time that you have to bring forth a lawsuit. In Colorado, the statute of limitations in a car accident suit is three years from the date of the accident.

  • You need to prove causation. Keep in mind that you don’t only need to prove the fault of another party in order to recover compensation, but also that the other party’s fault was the proximate cause of your injuries. If you wait too long to bring forth your claim, the insurance adjuster assigned to your case may argue that your injuries aren’t related to the accident for which you’re claiming compensation. 

Call Our Colorado Springs Multi-Vehicle Accident Attorneys Today

At the law firm of McCormick & Murphy, P.C., we understand how complicated multi-vehicle accident claims can be and how much you have resting on a successful claim outcome. We want to help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Our Colorado Springs multi-vehicle accident lawyers offer free consultations to all prospective clients. Please call us today to learn more.