Multi-vehicle accidents can have catastrophic consequences for the victims and their families. Proving liability in multi-car pileups is challenging because of the possibility of several at-fault parties, multiple versions of what happened, and the involvement of more than one insurance company. A seasoned car accident attorney can help you navigate through the complex maze of filing a lawsuit and pursuing the financial compensation you rightfully deserve.
Determining Fault in a Multiple Vehicle Collision
It can be difficult to identify the liable parties and prove fault in multiple car crashes. At-fault parties rarely admit their liability because of the high worth of these claims. A car accident attorney can help you accurately determine the worth of your claim, collect evidence to prove the negligence of the at-fault parties, negotiate strongly with the insurance companies on your behalf, and obtain the largest possible damages.
It is a good idea to choose an attorney that has the skills and experience in establishing fault in accidents where joint liability is present. Your multi-car pileup accident attorney should also have the ability to take the case to trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached with the liable parties.
The degree of fault of each liable party in a multi-vehicle collision is determined and proportionate damages are awarded after considering several factors. These factors include:
- Position of vehicles in the aftermath of the accident
- Police report data
- Location and extent of vehicular damage
- Weather conditions
- Whether the driver was making a left turn
- Witness statement
- Road conditions
- Whether any local or state traffic laws were violated
- Video surveillance
Pure Comparative Negligence Rule in California
California follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence law, which states that any compensation that is awarded should be reduced by the amount of percentage liability of the victim. For instance, if your damages amount to $100,000, but you are 50% responsible for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by $50,000.
A ruthless and skilled car accident attorney will do everything possible to improve your chances of getting a higher settlement offer. They will negotiate with the insurance company and represent you in court.
Types of Evidence in a Multi-Car Accident
There is usually a large amount of evidence in multi-car accidents. This is especially when the collision occurs within the range of surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, or highway patrol dash cams. In certain cases, the cause of the crash may require a more detailed examination. The attorneys will investigate the accident more thoroughly in such situations.
They will review the photographs of the accident scene, work with an accident reconstruction expert, and obtain the police report. Your attorney will get a fair sense of responsibility for the accident before they proceed further. You should make sure to take photographs and videos of the accident scene. Try and get as many photographs of vehicular damage and bodily injury as you can.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims
The amount of time with a car accident victim to file a personal injury claim is limited by California law. The specific amount of time will depend on the type of damage and the negligent party for the accident. Under California Civil Code §338, victims that suffer property damage get three years from the accident date to bring a claim. If you suffered bodily injury, you will have two years from the date of the accident (California Civil Code §335.1.)
Personal injury victims in California have the right to request both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are specifically described under California Civil Code §1431.2(b)(1). These are damages that can be objectively verified and lead to monetary losses. They include:
- Lost earnings
- Medical bills
- Loss of the use of property
- Loss of business opportunities and employment
- Burial expenses
- Costs related to property replacement and repair
California Civil Code §1431.2(b)(2) describes noneconomic damages as subjective and non-monetary losses. These may include:
- Mental suffering
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Injury to reputation
Pertaining to this, recovery of non-economic damages is prohibited in some situations as stated within California Civil Code § 333.4. Drivers are not allowed to recover compensation for mental distress, pain and suffering, and other injuries if they are convicted of a DUI under Vehicle Code §Sections 23152 or 23153 or don’t carry car insurance, which satisfied the financial responsibility requirements of the state.
Let a Proven Car Accident Attorney Represent Your Best Interests
Insurance companies don’t offer to compensate fairly for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damage claims. This is particularly true for multi-car accidents. Each driver’s insurance company will try to place the blame on other drivers involved in the accident. Insurance companies often have aggressive attorneys and accident reconstruction experts on their team with a mandate to deny or diminish your claim.
Without the help of a seasoned personal injury car accident attorney to represent your interests and rights, any settlement offered may likely prove to be pennies on the dollar. You need an attorney that understands the importance of fighting for justice and maximum financial recovery so that you can move forward with your life.
Talk to a Skilled and Knowledgeable Car Accident Attorney – Book Your Free Consultation Today
At Garmo & Garmo, LLP, our attorneys will fight for your rights to ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries. We have years of experience in aggressively pursuing damages in complex car accident claims. We have recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients and their families. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 619-441-2500 or fill out this online contact form.