Who Is Liable for a Four-Car Collision
Fault in a four-car pile-up accident depends on who caused the collision. Responsibility could lie with a negligent motorist, government agency, or parts manufacturer. With the number of people involved, more than one party could be at fault.
Proving fault in a four-car pile-up accident can get complicated––especially if the involved parties start accusing one another of negligence. When you partner with our car accident lawyer, you get a trusted legal advocate who can investigate your collision and determine fault. Call (954) 633-8270 to learn more.
Fault in a Four-Car Pile-Up Depends on the Situation
One or more of the following parties could bear fault for a four-car pile-up:
A Negligent Motorist
Driver error is a common cause of traffic accidents. Examples include:
- Failing to yield
- Disobeying traffic signals
- Weaving in and out of lanes
- Engaging in distracted driving
- Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while fatigued
The list goes on and on. If another driver’s negligence caused your collision, you could hold them financially accountable.
A Government Agency
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is just one of many government agencies that manage the state’s roadways. It’s responsible for filling potholes, designing safe streets, and making sure traffic signals work. If poor roadway conditions cause an accident (and the overseeing agency should have known about it), then the injured parties can sue when an accident happens.
A Parts Manufacturer
Since 1966, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recalled more than 390 million motor vehicles. When parts manufacturers don’t release safe products onto the market, they could have liability for any injury-related losses. Some faulty vehicle components can include airbags, seat belts, brakes, and steering wheels.
Other parties besides those listed here could be at fault for an accident. If so, your Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer can identify them.
Liability Could Lie With Another Party
Fault for the accident and liability for your compensation could fall to two separate parties. The at-fault driver caused the four-car pile-up, but liability could lie with another party. Consider this example to understand more. A trucker fell asleep at the wheel, causing the three cars behind it to collide.
In that instance, although the trucker’s negligence caused the collision, liability could rest with their employer. Under the doctrine respondeat superior, employers are vicariously liable for the actions of their employees.
Still, this might not make matters easier if there are other allegations of fault. In that instance, you may consider partnering with an Miami personal injury lawyer from our firm. We can determine fault for your four-car accident and pursue damages from the liable parties.
Evidence Determines Fault and Liability in a Four-Car Accident
Guessing who caused the accident doesn’t hold up during negotiations or in the courtroom. You need evidence to show who caused your accident. This information may include:
- An accident report
- Traffic camera footage
- Statements from accident reconstruction analysts
- Testimony from eyewitnesses
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- Proof of your injuries, such as your medical records
- Forensic evidence
- A car’s black box data
- Dash cam footage
With the information you find, you must establish that because another party’s negligence caused your accident, you now have injuries and related damages.
What Are My Options After a Four-Car Pile-Up?
You generally have these options when pursuing damages following a collision:
You Could File an Insurance Claim
Florida is one of 12 no-fault states. So, after your accident, you could first pursue damages through a claim with your own insurer. Your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage should offer at least $10,000.
Still, in a chain-reaction accident, your damages could be severe; your insurance might not even cover a fraction of your damages. In that instance, you could file a third-party liability claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. This could yield compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
You Could Sue the At-Fault Party
Most car accident claimants don’t have to file lawsuits, meaning they generally recover damages via insurance claims. Yet, if insurance doesn’t fully cover your losses (or you suffered serious injuries as defined by Florida Statutes § 627.737), you could sue. You could have anywhere from two to four years to file your case, depending on whether you’re filing an injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato for Help With Your Car Accident Injury Case
Did you or a loved one suffer injuries in a four-car pile-up? Our legal at Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato team understands what you’re going through, and we want to help you recover compensation. In addition to determining the at-fault party in your crash, we can calculate your losses, file your claim, and negotiate a settlement. Our trial-ready Miami car accident lawyers can also litigate your case if the need arises.