Were you a part of a multiple vehicle crash in Atlanta?
You may need professional legal representation from a chain reaction car accident lawyer.
Being part of a chain-reaction accident is terrifying, especially if you’re seriously injured. Multi-vehicle crashes are harrowing to live through and can leave you shaken. What’s more, these complex types of cases can also present unique legal challenges from the standpoint of determining who is at fault in a motor vehicle crash involving 3 or more vehicles.
If you were involved in a chain-reaction crash, you need the best representation available. Attorney Charles Scholle and his legal team have represented many people injured in chain reaction crashes that were caused by aggressive driving, tailgating or drunk driving.
“Chain reaction” crashes (also referred to as “multi-vehicle” and “pileup” crashes) involve 3 or more vehicles. These types of crashes often happen when a driver is following the vehicle in front of them too closely. When the leading vehicle brakes suddenly, there isn’t enough time for the tailgating vehicle to avoid a collision. Often, this results in a rear-end collision. But at high speeds (such as on interstates and highways), it can cause a chain reaction accident that involves many other vehicles.
Should I contact a car accident attorney near me?
The attorneys at Scholle Law have assisted crash victims who have been injured in car accidents all over Georgia for over 20 years. These accidents can be devastating to victims and their families. Seeking medical and legal expertise after a chain reaction car crash is very important and can be crucial to preserving your rights and restoring your health.
Multi-vehicle pileups typically involve many vehicles. These types of cases can be especially complicated due to the number of vehicles and injured victims involved.
In the event of a chain reaction collision, you need the smartest representation available. Charles Scholle and his team have experience dealing with catastrophic personal injury crashes, with expertise in brain injury, spinal injury and other serious injuries that result from this type of collision. Having us working on your side is critically important to you and your family’s recovery. Our team’s collective knowledge will help you cope with the difficult recovery following your collision.
At Scholle Law, we’ve helped Georgia accident victims and their families secure their legal rights for over 2 decades. Don’t try to navigate the legal system on your own. Instead, get a fighter by your side who can work on your behalf to win your case.
Contact us to speak with a lawyer about your accident.We’re available 24/7 and your first consultation is free.
Call 866-972-5287 or send us a message online
Common causes of chain-reaction crashes
While there are many factors that can contribute to a multi-vehicle collision, by far the most common cause is reckless and aggressive driving — specifically “tailgating.” Georgia law expressly prohibits tailgating. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-49 (a) says that the “driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”
Drivers of cars, trucks and motorcycles who follow too closely can cause a chain reaction of collisions. These crashes can involve many vehicles, and often lead to serious injury and death. Regardless of the type of vehicle being driven, it’s illegal to follow other vehicles too closely. This dangerous driving behavior tends to be more common on downtown Atlanta’s roadways, perhaps due to the use of cellphones and the city’s growing traffic woes.
Sometimes, drivers following too closely are also exceeding the speed limit, either as posted or as is warranted under the circumstances due to weather conditions. But speeding isn’t the only factor that raises the likelihood of such an accident. Distracted driving can also increase the likelihood of a serious collision, particularly on busy high-speed highways and interstates.
- Poor visibility (fog, fire, smoke, etc.)
- Bad weather (rain, hail, high winds, etc.)
- Mechanical failures (defective tires or brakes, etc.)
- Drunk and drugged driving
- Road hazards (potholes, construction zone, fallen tree, etc.)
Common pileup collision injuries
People who are involved in chain reaction crashes often experience serious injuries, such as:
- Concussion and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Muscle injuries
- Broken bones
Worst chain reaction crashes in history
A chain-reaction crash can involve any number of vehicles, from 3 to 30 (or many more). Here are 10 examples of some of the biggest pileups in history:
- On Sept. 15, 2011, 300 vehicles were involved in a pileup in Sao Paulo, Brazil due to heavy fog. Forty-nine people were injured and 1 person killed.
- On July 19, 2009, a pileup involving 259 vehicles occurred on the German Autobahn A2 due to heavy rain. Even though no one was killed, dozens of people were injured.
- On Mar. 20, 2008, 231 vehicles were involved in a pileup crash in the Czech Republic. No reason for the pileup was reported, but 33 people were injured.
- On Nov. 3, 2002, 216 vehicles were involved in a pileup on I-710 in Los Angeles County, California due to dense fog. In all, 41 people were injured.
- On Jan. 12, 2005, 200 vehicles were involved in a multi-vehicle collision on I-96 in Ingham County, Michigan due to dense fog. Thirty-five people were injured and 2 people were killed.
- On Feb. 27, 1996, 200 vehicles, including 76 semi-trucks, were involved in a pileup on the E17 motorway near Nazareth, Belgium, due to fog. Eighty people were injured and 10 killed.
- On Mar. 20, 1995, 200 vehicles were involved in a pileup on I-10 in Mobile, Alabama due to fog. Ninety people were injured and 1 person was killed.
- On Jan. 9, 2015, 193 vehicles were involved in a pileup on I-94 near Galesburg, Michigan due to a snowstorm. In total, 23 people were injured and 1 person killed.
- On Dec. 1, 2011, 176 vehicles were involved in a pileup on Tennessee State Route 396 near Nashville due to heavy fog. Sixteen people were injured and 1 person killed.
- On Mar. 10, 1997, 160 vehicles were involved in a pileup on the M42 motorway in the United Kingdom due to fog. Sixty people were injured and 3 were killed.
How to determine liability in a multi-vehicle crash
(Georgia’s shared liability laws)
Chain reaction crashes can involve many drivers, some of whom may have each contributed in small ways to the collision to some degree. For this reason, filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit for these types of crashes brings its own unique set of challenges.
Georgia is an at-fault state, meaning the person responsible for the crash must pay for the damages and injuries of all the victims involved. Georgia also operates under shared liability law (also known as “joint and several liability”), which can reduce or eliminate your right to compensation. Shared fault rules say that a judge or jury must “apportion its award of damages among the persons who are liable according to the percentage of fault of each person.”
So what if multiple people share fault for the collision?
For instance, let’s say Driver 1 turns a corner and sees red brake lights ahead due to traffic. Driver 1 slams on their brakes, but Driver 2 was following too closely and rear ends Driver 1. Driver 3 is distracted and also rear ends Driver 2.
Is Driver 2 liable since they were tailgating Driver 1, or is Driver 3 at fault for driving distracted?
In Georgia, the answer can be both.
If only a single driver was unsafe and caused the chain reaction crash, then fault may be easy to determine. However, this is rarely the case. More often than not, more than 1 person contributed to the pileup collision. This complicates how liability is determined and how damages are awarded, which is why multi-vehicle crash victims should always consult a knowledgeable attorney near them to get legal advice.
What to do after a chain reaction collision
If you are involved in a chain reaction accident, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and disoriented. You may feel paralyzed by shock. It’s important to, if at all possible, move yourself, your passengers and your vehicle off the road and out of harm’s way to avoid getting hit by a passing car. If you cannot move your vehicle to the shoulder safely, make sure to put on your hazard lights (emergency flashers).
Next, check on the condition of everyone involved, including yourself and your passengers. Call 911 and wait for police to respond. If you are injured, wait for an ambulance to arrive and try not to move.
If nobody was seriously hurt, try to get a few photos of the crash scene and write down the contact information of eyewitnesses as you wait for police to arrive. The responding officer will investigate the scene and interview witnesses as well to determine what happened, but it never hurts to gather evidence yourself in case liability becomes disputed.
See a doctor as soon as possible after your crash. Even if you don’t think you were seriously hurt, it’s possible that you were injured and don’t realize it. Shock and adrenaline after a crash can conceal serious internal injuries such as back pain, organ trauma, spinal cord damage or whiplash. Visit a doctor immediately to get a full medical examination.
Once your health needs have been tended to by a doctor, consult an experienced car crash lawyer near you to learn about your legal options. Liability is typically quite difficult to determine in chain reaction crashes. Your attorney can make sure you are properly represented and that you get the maximum compensation you’re owed.