Determining liability in a car accident involving multiple vehicles

by SpeedLux
Kirkcaldy Train Station car accident

With approximately 300mln vehicles driven on the roads of America, car crashes are bound to happen. According to statistics, the US each year suffers from an estimate of 40,000 fatal car accidents. Car crashes commonly occur when two vehicles collide; however, these accidents can also involve more than just two cars. Such a collision is known as a multi-car crash. A car crash involving more than two vehicles does not happen simultaneously. It is often in the form of a chain reaction. A car ends up hitting another, which ends up hitting another vehicle and so on.

Whenever a car crash happens, various authorities come into action. It involves the traffic police, any insurance authorities concerned, healthcare, etc. The police and the insurance authorities are the ones who will be most concerned regarding where the responsibility of the crash falls. Your insurance provider may immediately send an accident investigator to the site to analyze the crash site and conclude whether you can claim an insurance cover. Reaching the onus of an accident is significant since this conclusion will allow the law and the insurance providers to make subsequent decisions. And this conclusion is made by judging a few factors.

Hence, we come to the topic of this blog: What factors help us determine the liability in a car crash? How does an individual ascertain whether it was his fault or the other driver’s mistake in an accident? Below, we have summarized a few points which are crucial in determining where the burden falls in the case of a mishap.

The Level Of Negligence:

When you learn to drive, you learn a set of rules that you need to follow for the safety of yourself and others around you. It also introduces you to a duty of care that you need to practice while on the road. This duty of care ensures that you do not act in a manner that may harm the people around you. If we talk about car crashes in America, Miami stands yearly with the most significant number of road accidents.

In 2019, there were about approx 64,495 crashes, and in 2018 the number was slightly higher, standing at 64,627. In case, God forbid, you get involved in an accident, the law will judge where the negligence took place. If you suffered because of the negligence of another driver, you could contact any car accident lawyers in Miami to file damages.

The law advises that you maintain enough distance from the car ahead of you to give enough space to pull brakes instantly without crashing into the vehicle. But since you did not support a safe distance, you hit the car. This crash causes the car behind you to lose control and hit you as well. This sequence might follow for a further two or three cars. However, the responsibility will fall on you since you failed to practice a reasonable duty of care and neglected the law.

The Weather Condition:

It could be that a disastrous head-on collision ensues of multiple vehicles, and none of them is found guilty. You may wonder how, since an accident always happens because of negligent behavior, right? Well, that is not the case. Sometimes the weather conditions also play a significant role in a multiple car crash. There have been numerous chain accidents due to dense fog, icy roads, or snow.

In such a case, the accident’s responsibility needs to be owned by individual drivers, and no one else. The liability of the accident will fall only on the driver, and they may have to look into their insurance providers for damage recovery. Often cars skid and slip in adverse weather conditions, which further increases the risk of car accidents involving multiple vehicles.

The Use Of Drugs Or Alcohol:

Drunk driving causes numerous accidents each year, and many people lose their precious lives because of it. If any of the drivers are under the influence of an intoxicant, they are entirely liable for causing the accident. While determining the liability, the investigator will have to judge and question the people involved to conclude whether they were under the effect of any drugs/alcohol or not.

Bad Road Condition:

Another factor responsible for causing car accidents is the condition of the road. Broken roads, gravel, mudslides, rocks from mountainsides, sinkholes, etc. are some reasons cars may have a multiple vehicle collision. That is a situation where the liability may not fall on any particular individual, and all the people involved may have to recover damages from their insurance companies. However, the investigator will determine whether the third or fourth car in line could have stopped colliding by maintaining enough distance. If not, then the liability of their damage falls on them only.

The Level Of Distraction:

The National Safety Council states that around 1.6mln accidents happen annually because of driving while using the cellphone. The liability falls on the negligent person, and in such a case, it would be a person using the phone while driving. When driving, an appropriate show of due care is to ignore any other task. It is also relevant to not engage yourself in extensive discussions that may sidetrack your attention. If it is indispensable, best practice is to pull over, if possible. Eating, checking emails, or any other action that may distract you creates a higher risk of accidents. The sole responsibility falls on the one not paying enough attention to the road.


Determining liability in a car accident that involves multiple cars is almost similar to liability in a car crash involving two vehicles. That is because the basis of judgment consists of analyzing the crash site to determine who has been negligent. The driver who failed to practice adequate duty of care is liable for the damage caused due to their irresponsibility.

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SpeedLux is a high-authority automotive blog providing the latest automotive news and reviews. SpeedLux covers everything related to cars, bikes, and motorcycles, from news and reviews, to troubleshooting guides, tips and tricks, and more. SpeedLux was born in 2009 and we have over 20,000 articles published on our blog. We thank all our readers, as well as our partners, without whom we could not have reached this level.


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