Chain reaction accidents happen occasionally in Maryland. However, Maryland car accidents happen in several ways. Typically, people think of car crashes as collisions involving two vehicles. However, multi-vehicle collisions, such as chain reaction collisions, are common too. Statistics show that 45% of car accident fatalities in Maryland in 2019 involved several vehicles. Maryland car accident lawyers understand that accidents types are relevant when determining liability.
Liability is often apparent in single or two-vehicle accidents. However, it’s more challenging to determine responsibility when several cars are involved. That’s why it’s best to hire a Maryland car accident attorney after any crash. A skilled lawyer can investigate and determine which party caused a chain-reaction collision. Then, they can get you the maximum compensation.
What Is a Chain Reaction Accident?
A chain reaction accident occurs when two or more cars hit each other in a chain of rear-end accidents. Usually, the last vehicle (Driver D) rear-ends the vehicle in front of it (Driver C), which then hits other cars before it (Drivers A and B). Narrow roads and traffic stops or jams are excellent sites for chain-reaction collisions.
However, chain reaction collisions mustn’t happen in a line-up. Also, a chain collision mustn’t even start with a rear-end crash. Instead, several cars parked in one location can also result in chain-reaction collisions. Furthermore, the accident can begin with a sideswipe. A typical example would be intersection accidents. Notably, one driver usually sets the occurrence in motion.
Who Is Liable in a Chain Reaction Accident?
Determining fault is crucial in a chain reaction accident. This is because Maryland is a fault accident state. So, the liable party will bear the financial consequences of a collision. However, chain-reaction crashes involve several vehicles and drivers. Therefore, establishing liability will be challenging. In addition, one or more of these drivers may have been negligent.
People usually assume that the last driver on the accident roll is responsible for the crash. Suppose the driver was distracted and rear-ended another vehicle, setting off the reaction. Then, this driver can bear 100% of the accident liability. But chain reaction collisions aren’t always that straightforward, though.
For example, imagine that Driver C was driving in front of Driver D when he suddenly braked. Without any indication, Driver D can collide with Driver C. In this case, the first driver to rear-end another vehicle (Driver D) wouldn’t be the fault party. Therefore, liability in chain-reaction accidents depends on the circumstances of the case.
Can Multiple Drivers Be Liable in a Chain Reaction Collision?
Yes, several drivers can be responsible for causing a chain reaction crash. For example, let’s reconsider the scenario where Driver D rear-ended Driver C, who braked without indication. Here, it looks like Driver C will bear all the liability. However, the case will be different if Driver D was overspeeding or driving too close to Driver C.
Overspeeding and not keeping a proper distance between both vehicles will reduce Driver D’s reaction time. So, he’ll also share liability in a resulting chain-reaction collision. A jury or insurance adjuster can apportion fault amongst each liable party. Then, they’ll all have to compensate the accident victim.
Maryland’s Contributory Negligence Rule
Sometimes, an accident victim may contribute to the chain reaction accident. When this happens, Maryland’s contributory negligence principle will apply. Under this rule, accident victims will lose their right to compensation if they contribute to the crash. It’s irrelevant that the victim only shares 1% of the fault. This is the opposite of the comparative negligence rule.
Comparative negligence reduces the accident victim’s compensation depending on their contribution to the crash. Only a handful of American states still apply the contributory negligence principle. If an insurance company can allocate fault to you, they can escape paying you compensation. This is why it’s vital to hire a Maryland car accident attorney.
Maryland Car Accident Lawyers Can Establish Liability in Chain Reaction Accidents
Have you been in a chain reaction crash on Maryland roads? If you have, then you may be eligible for compensation. The fault parties have to cover your losses from the collision. First, however, you’ll need the best Maryland car accident attorneys. Proving liability in a chain reaction crash will be pretty challenging.
So, it’ll be best to hire a skilled lawyer. Fortunately, you can get the right attorneys at Pinder Plotkin LLC. Our lawyers have several combined decades of experience in handling different car accident cases. So, we can prove liability in chain reaction cases. You just have to call us today for a FREE no-obligation consultation.