No one wants to experience a car crash or suffer an injury. After the crash, no injured victim should have to pay for the damage they didn’t cause. Unfortunately, victims of multi-vehicle accidents sometimes find it difficult to hold the at-fault parties responsible for their behavior. At OnderLaw, LLC, our St. Louis car accident attorneys can help.
Were you the victim of a multi-vehicle accident in St. Louis? Did you suffer injuries requiring medical treatment? If so, contact OnderLaw, LLC to discuss your legal options. We have experience helping clients recover financial compensation to pay for their expenses. We’ll hold the negligent party accountable and fight for your rights.
When there are more than two cars involved in a crash, it can sometimes be tough determining who’s responsible. We have resources to perform a thorough investigation and obtain evidence that proves fault. The
When we find out who caused your accident, we’ll pursue the maximum financial award available. You shouldn’t pay for someone else’s careless decisions.
Call us today at (314) 963-9000 to speak with one of our St. Louis multi-vehicle accident attorneys about your legal rights.
What Causes Multi-Vehicle Accidents?
Many multi-car crashes are the result of a chain reaction. It typically starts when one driver fails to pay attention or makes an error. They collide with a vehicle that collides with another. Eventually, there’s damage to multiple vehicles and drivers. A pile-up like this is dangerous and can cause severe injuries and fatalities.
When someone drives at excessive speeds, they have reduced reaction time, and their vehicle requires more distance to come to a complete stop. If there isn’t enough space to slow down, they’ll have a hard time avoiding a road hazard or stopped vehicles ahead. The impact of a crash could cause the car they hit to collide with another vehicle and start a chain reaction.
There are various forms of distractions. Drivers that don’t pay attention to what they’re doing behind the wheel can cause a multi-car accident. Examples of common distractions include:
- Talking to a passenger
- Changing the radio
- Looking at a map or GPS
- Eating or drinking
When there are poor weather conditions, motorists are supposed to adjust the way they drive. They should slow down and pay attention to their surroundings. Pile-ups and multi-vehicle crashes can happen when ice, snow, sleet, or rain creates a slippery road. Drivers are unable to maneuver safely to avoid colliding with other vehicles.
Impairment by Drugs or Alcohol
Driving under the influence is dangerous. It causes thousands of injuries and fatalities every year. When someone gets behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, it affects their driving abilities. Drunk and drugged drivers suffer from the following side effects:
- Slowed reaction time
- Impaired judgment
- Poor decision-making skills
- Reduced muscle coordination
- Decreased perception
- Blurry vision
Driving while tired is just as risky as drunk driving. It leads to similar side effects and impairs driving abilities. Lack of sleep or a strenuous schedule can cause anyone to fall asleep behind the wheel.
A multi-car accident is more likely due to the dangerous nature of fatigued driving. Someone who doesn’t have full control over their vehicle can swerve into oncoming traffic or blow through a red light.
Settling an Insurance Claim After a Multi-Car Accident
If you got hurt in a multi-vehicle crash, your lawyer might advise you to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. Unfortunately, sometimes when several parties are involved, it can be a challenge to determine who’s liable.
Settling an insurance claim after a multi-car crash might involve:
- Multiple negligent parties: More than one driver may be responsible. If one was texting behind the wheel and another was speeding, your attorney will need to establish whose insurance company should be liable for your expenses. Determining liability can take some time.
- Criminal case: If one of the drivers was drunk, they could face criminal charges. While the case is pending, you might need to wait to settle an insurance claim. The result of their criminal case could impact the amount of money you receive from a settlement.
- Inadequate auto insurance: Even though it’s a legal requirement for all drivers to carry auto insurance, some people let their policies lapse or don’t purchase insurance. If you discover the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance, you can discuss other ways to pursue compensation with OnderLaw, LLC.
- Statements made by the at-fault driver: It’s common for drivers to deny responsibility for a car crash. If they don’t want to assume liability for resulting injuries, they might point the finger at someone else. When an insurance claim involves multiple parties blaming other people, the insurance company must spend additional time and resources to determine who’s at fault.
- Multiple victims: Multi-car accidents sometimes cause injuries to more than one person. Several drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians or bicyclists could suffer harm. In these cases, you’ll need a good attorney to advocate for your right to compensation, not the insurance company’s bottom line.
Damages Available in an Insurance Claim
In any type of motor vehicle crash, injured victims incur damages.
Economic damages are expenses associated with injuries after an accident, such as:
- Medical bills
- Out of pocket expenses
- Car repair or replacement costs
- Rental vehicle
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
Non-economic damages cover the physical and emotional pain endured after an accident.
They include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
While economic damages are easy to calculate, non-economic damages are a bit more challenging. Insurance companies will review different factors from the accident to determine a value they’re willing to pay an injured party’s non-economic damages.
- Statements made by those involved in the multi-car crash
- Total economic damages incurred
- Type and severity of the injury
- Duration of the recovery period
- Inability to return to work or perform some tasks
- Availability of sufficient evidence proving fault
- Medically necessary treatment
- Permanent disability caused by the injury
- Insurance coverage listed on the at-fault party’s policy
Insurance companies use pure comparative negligence to decide the maximum settlement the injured victim can seek. Under this rule, a claimant’s damages are in direct proportion to their degree of fault. For example, if someone incurs $100,000 in damages but shares 20% blame for the accident, they can only pursue up to $80,000 in compensation.
Your OnderLaw, LLC attorney will advise you whether the insurance company’s settlement offer is fair. If not, they’ll be ready to take the case to court.
Determining Compensation in a Lawsuit
Recovering compensation from an insurance settlement is ideal after a multi-car accident. It prevents you from going through the more complex process of a lawsuit. But if the insurance company doesn’t offer a fair settlement agreement or denies your claim, you can file a lawsuit.
Most multi-car accident attorneys use the legal theory of negligence when pursuing a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Negligence occurs when one party fails to act or not act in a way that prevents injury to another.
There are five elements your lawyer must show existed to use the legal theory of negligence in your lawsuit:
- Duty: The at-fault party owed you a duty of reasonable care to prevent harm;
- Breach of duty: They breached their duty;
- Cause in fact: If it wasn’t for their actions or inaction, you wouldn’t have sustained an injury;
- Proximate cause: Your injuries were the direct result of the at-fault party’s breach of duty; and
- Damages: You incurred damages from the accident.
To file a lawsuit in Missouri, you’ll need to comply with a statute of limitations. This strict deadline allows accident victims to pursue legal action against another party in the civil court system.
The statute of limitations for multi-vehicle car accidents is five years. That means you have five years from the crash date to sue the liable party for damages. After five years pass, you’ll lose your right to financial compensation in this matter.
Speak to an Experienced St. Louis Multi-Vehicle Accident Attorney
OnderLaw, LLC has an experienced team that dedicates their time to each client that chooses us. We know you’re struggling after your accident, so we want to help you recover from your injuries.
We provide dependable customer service and support to guide you through the legal process. With our 24/7 availability, you can reach us at a time that fits your schedule.
Our St. Louis multi-vehicle accident attorneys will represent you on a contingency fee basis. That means you won’t have to worry about paying any fees or costs while we’re working on your case. We only get paid when you do. If we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us anything.
If you decide to hire us, we’ll begin working on your case immediately and attempt to reach a prompt resolution. You can count on us to fight hard for the just compensation you deserve.
To find out more about us or schedule a free consultation, call us now at (314) 963-9000. We’ll review the information related to your multi-car accident and advise you of the legal options available.