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Georgia Personal Injury Blog

Monday, November 17, 2014

Personal Injury Law and Car Wrecks Involving Three or More Vehicles: Who is at fault?

Car accidents that involve three or more vehicles are not as common as wrecks involving just one or two cars.  Commonly referred to as “pile-ups,” this type of accident is usually a result of two cars colliding, then sliding into other vehicles nearby.     

Bad weather, poor visibility and road conditions can all contribute to the increased risk of a multi-car pile-up.  Busy highway systems are often the scene of such pile-ups, such as the I-75 corridor near our law offices located in Stockbridge, McDonough, Jackson and Barnesville in Henry, Lamar and Butts Counties.

Car crashes that involve three or more vehicles can present unique legal issues.  If you are involved in a multi-vehicle car wreck, it’s important to quickly contact an experienced local personal injury attorney who can work on your behalf to determine liability, file insurance claims and perhaps pursue compensation in court.

Why is it important for car accident victims to hire an attorney?

According to Georgia law, “proportional liability” applies to car accidents with three or more vehicles.  That means that if more than one person is deemed responsible for the accident, then each party is only responsible for the percentage of damage that he or she caused.  Therefore victims of multi-car pile ups may need to pursue different parties and file multiple insurance claims to gain full compensation for their injuries.  For example, if a plaintiff gets a jury verdict of $50,000, and defendant A is deemed responsible for half of the accident, then defendant A only has to pay $25,000 of the total amount.  In this case, the plaintiff may need to pursue the remaining compensation from defendant B (and perhaps a defendant C). 

Needless to say, it can become an arduous process and a complicated area of law.  However, an experienced personal injury attorney can effectively represent victims throughout the process, from crash scene investigation to claim filing and, in some cases, pursuing full compensation in court. 

When should car accident victims contact an attorney?

The sooner, the better.  An experienced local personal injury attorney can immediately begin collecting evidence and advocating on your behalf.  Quickly contacting an attorney after an accident gives the attorney the opportunity to investigate the accident scene and identify important evidence, such as tire treads or damage to traffic barriers, that can be worn away or fixed over time. 

Ideally, an attorney would be contacted shortly after the accident takes place.  Ultimately, a time limit, or “statute of limitations,” applies to all personal injury cases filed in Georgia's court system. In Georgia, you typically have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim in court.  An exception to this rule is a shorter statute of limitations for accidents involving a government vehicle or on government property.

Overall, from determining fault to filing insurance claims, collisions involving three or more vehicles can become very complicated.  For more information on this topic, email Marc Avidano at mavidano@smithwelchlaw.com or call 770-957-3937.  Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the state of Georgia. We have litigated hundreds of automobile collisions and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured clients and families of those killed in wrongful death accidents. Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family or your business.

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


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