Any Alaska car accident legal claim can quickly become complicated. At-fault drivers and insurance companies often try to shift blame elsewhere to reduce their own liability and keep money in their own pockets. They may try to point the finger elsewhere to diminish the negative consequences of their actions. This is especially true when multiple vehicles are involved in one accident. Every driver tells his own version of events and sorting through many stories to determine the true facts can be difficult.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a crash that involved multiple vehicles, it’s important to take steps to protect your rights in this confusing situation immediately. Here, learn about multi-car accidents and what you can expect if you need medical care and compensation.
Common Types of Multi-Vehicle Crashes in Alaska
While more Alaska car crashes are single vehicle accidents, about 42 percent of incidents involved multiple vehicles in 2016. There most common causes of these crashes are:
- Chain reactions. Chain reaction accidents occur when a driver fails to react to stopping or slowing traffic, starting a domino effect of crashes one after another. It may be that a following driver rear-ends the driver in front, pushing him into the next driver, or it can occur when a driver stops or slows suddenly, causing the following driver to crash into him.
- Second collisions. In some cases, a second, separate crash can draw more vehicles into an accident. For example, two cars collide in an intersection, and an oncoming driver is distracted looking at his phone. He may not see the accident and fail to stop, crashing into one or both of the cars involved in the initial accident.
Determining Fault in a Multiple Vehicle Crash Can Be Difficult
Assigning fault in a crash that involves multiple vehicles can be very difficult. In a chain reaction accident, for example, who is at fault when a car is struck from behind and pushed into the car in front of it? The driver who caused the initial impact or the impacted driver who was perhaps following his leading car too closely?
Additionally, it is often challenging to determine exactly what injuries arose from what impact, especially in situations with a secondary crash. Would a person’s injuries have been less severe if the subsequent crash had not occurred? Who is responsible for which injuries?
In general, the state of Alaska follows the rules of comparative fault. This means that when an accident is investigated, a percentage of blame is assigned to all the involved parties. It can be determined that one driver is 100 percent at fault for an accident, or that both parties share a portion of the blame. An injured driver or passenger can pursue a legal claim and recover damages from an at-fault driver as long as the injured person is less than 50 percent to blame.
When one or two cars are involved, this is typically fairly straightforward, but with more than two vehicles, assigning fault and pursuing compensation from the correct party requires more investigation and evidence. The other parties will try to shift blame to each other or even onto you. Every insurance company will attempt to make the others liable to keep money in their own pocket.
Obtain the Compensation You Deserve With Help From an Experienced Injury Attorney
Many accident victims suffer injuries that require significant medical attention and prevent them from working during their recovery. In some cases, a complete recovery may not even be possible. For victims and their families, this means the medical care and compensation that can be obtained through a legal claim is vital. It can make all the difference in your life going forward, and it’s important to make sure your rights are fully protected so you can return to your normal life as quickly as possible.
Attorney Ben Crittenden has represented many Alaskans who have suffered injuries in crashes involving multiple vehicles, and he understands what it takes to be successful for his clients. He will listen to your story, examine your accident, find evidence, and more. He works hard to get to know his clients and make sure their voices are heard. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a car crash, call Ben in his Anchorage office today or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page. You’ll be in touch directly with Ben, who can answer your questions and schedule a consultation.