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Strictly speaking, multi-vehicle car accidents are any accidents which involve more than one vehicle. But the term as used in the practice of personal injury law, is usually reserved to refer to car accidents which involve three or more vehicles. They may also be referred to as pile-up accidents or chain reaction accidents.
The increased number of vehicles involved in a multi-vehicle car accident increases the possibilities for severe injuries. Repeated collisions, from multiple directions, can make it very difficult for medical personnel to attend to victims in an expeditious manner, thereby compounding the effects of the victims’ injuries.
Multi-Vehicle Accident Causes
The most common cause of a multi-vehicle car crash is the inability of oncoming traffic to come to a complete stop when coming upon an accident involving one or two vehicles. The high speed nature of traffic on roadways such as interstates makes it almost impossible for oncoming traffic to avoid crashing into stopped vehicles that were just involved in an accident. Travelers are going 60 miles per hour or more, and they may be following too closely to be able to stop before colliding with the vehicles first involved in the accident. This is commonly referred to as a pileup accident. Coming upon an accident after driving over a small hill compounds the problem as oncoming drivers may not even be able to see the accident scene until they are only a few yards from the impact zone.
Chain reaction accidents can occur when a vehicle is hit and sent into oncoming traffic from the opposite direction. Conditions which create the increased possibility of pileups or chain reaction accidents include:
- Wet, icy or snow covered roadways
- Decreased visibility due to falling snow, rain, hail, dust in the air, smoke, fog or lack of street lights at night
- Traffic congestion
- Traffic moving too fast for conditions
- Rubbernecking (drivers watching a previous accident or other visual distraction and not paying attention to the road in front of them)
- Distracted driving such as texting while driving, eating, reaching within the cabin for an object and taking one’s eyes off of the road, and other distractions within the vehicle
- Drunk driving, drowsy driving, drivers impaired by drugs, or a medical condition such as a driver having a stroke, heart attack or other medical incident
If you or a loved one have been involved or injured in a multi-vehicle accident, you need to get in touch with a qualified legal professional. At Marks & Harrison, we have been representing injured clients and their families for over 100 years in Richmond and the surrounding areas.
As one of the oldest law firms in Virginia, we have developed our process with an unwavering commitment to help our clients pursue the highest level of compensation for their injuries or lost loved ones. Please contact us to schedule a free evaluation of your case and see for yourself the difference a century of knowledge and experience can make for you.