It is challenging to claim compensation for a multiple vehicle accident, or chain reaction car accidents, in Bristol, PA because it is difficult to determine fault. When an accident involves three or more motor vehicles, it’s very rare to have any motorist admit liability or fault.
Apart from the legal issues regarding liability, there are also issues regarding insurance. With multiple motorists, there is more than one insurance company that will have a stake in reducing liability, or payouts.
Besides, insurance companies are rarely in a hurry to settle multiple car accident claims because there is a huge burden on the plaintiffs to prove liability. You need legal guidance from a Bristol car accident lawyer when you’re involved in a multiple car accident because the stakes are so much higher.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured in a Multi-Car Accident
One of the options you have after a multi-car accident in Bristol is to file a compensation claim with your insurer. Under Pennsylvania’s choice no-fault insurance laws, you are eligible for compensation from your insurer, regardless of fault. You can claim compensation up to the limit of your Personal Injury Protection coverage.
However, when you are covered by no-fault insurance, then you generally do not get to file a claim against the other driver, asking his or her policy to pay your bills, even if s/he was at fault. Under no-fault insurance in Pennsylvania, you may only file a claim against another driver’s insurance if the accident caused you serious injury. Serious injury in Pennsylvania is only for things like disability or disfigurement. If you think your case qualifies, double-check with a car accident attorney.
However, if you opted for traditional insurance rather than no-fault insurance, then your insurance policy will allow you to file a lawsuit against other motorists in an accident. In a multiple passenger vehicle accident, however, you must also prepare yourself to have a claim filed against you if the other driver has traditional insurance.
Each person’s insurance company and law team will counsel him or her to file claims against the other drivers in the accidents, because most people will not admit fault and thus can attempt to secure monies from the other drivers.
Determining Liability in a Multicar Insurance Claim
Even if a motorist does not admit fault at the scene of an accident, there are ways that investigations can reveal the causes of the crash. Investigations in a multicar accident will include drug and alcohol tests, and police will be looking for things like open containers of alcohol or prescription pill bottles in the cars.
An insurance investigator may also be called to look for the following clues.
- Bad driving records
- Skid marks that denote speeding
- Eyewitness statements that indicate driving errors
If the accident occurred at an intersection in Bristol, traffic cameras could provide the following evidence.
- If someone failed to yield at a red light
- If someone failed to yield the right of way
- If a vehicle was tailgating
All of these can help establish liability. If you do not have a no-fault insurance coverage policy, determining liability is key to filing a lawsuit against other motorists and recovering compensation.
It’s important to get sound legal advice when you are involved in an accident with multiple vehicles as the insurance payouts are much higher than a single-vehicle crash. Call 215-642-2335 to speak with Bristol car accident lawyers at Cordisco & Saile about identifying liable parties in your accident and filing a compensation claim. You can also fill out the contact form to schedule a consultation.