The question of who you can sue after a multi-vehicle collision is a complicated one. The short answer is that you can sue whoever is responsible (or liable in the eyes of the law) for the accident that leaves you injured. Sometimes this can be more than one motorist, especially in multi-vehicle collisions. If someone else’s negligence causes you to be injured in a multi-vehicle accident, it’s in your best interest to work closely with an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney.

The Pile-Up

Regardless of the condition of the road, the situation on the road, traffic, bad weather, and anything else that affects one’s driving, every motorist is responsible for modifying their driving in a way that allows them to proceed safely in relation to the situation at hand. Multi-car collisions are often caused by negligent forward motorists, but these accidents can be exacerbated or even caused by rear drivers. Ultimately, every multi-car accident is unique to the situation involved, and your dedicated car accident attorney will help you carefully assess liability in the accident that leaves you injured. 

Driver Negligence

Most car accidents (including multi-car accidents) are caused by driver negligence of one kind or another. The sad fact is that such negligence can come in many dangerous forms.

Distracted Motorists

Distraction is an exceptionally dangerous form of negligence. The only way to drive safely is to be prepared to react to whatever comes your way, and when a motorist’s attention is distracted by anything else, it can end disastrously. Pile-ups are often the result of a forward accident that oncoming motorists aren’t prepared to safely avoid, often because one or more is distracted. Even if the vehicles that immediately follow the forward accident are driving safely, they can be involved in a multi-car accident if a distracted rear motorist or two barrels into them.

The most dangerous distraction out there by far is the smartphone, and because many motorists adhere firmly to the belief that it is their right to remain in constant contact with their phones, distracted driving accidents, including dangerous pile-ups, are on the rise.

Speeding Motorists

Excess speed is uniquely dangerous because it makes serious accidents more likely, and it increases the odds that any ensuing accidents will be fatal. In fact, speed plays a pivotal role in far too many deadly traffic accidents. When a motorist exceeds the speed limit or drives too quickly for conditions on the road (including factoring in the effects of bad weather, poorly maintained roads, and heavy traffic), they don’t allow enough reaction time or enough stopping distance to accommodate unexpected disturbances ahead, which are often at the heart of multi-car accidents.

Impaired Motorists

Impairment behind the wheel is exceptionally dangerous. Impaired motorists experience cognitive and physical effects, including slowed reflexes, that leave them far more likely to cause dangerous car accidents like pile-ups.

Drowsy Drivers

Drowsy drivers are dangerous drivers, and they don’t have to fall asleep behind the wheel to pose a serious threat. In fact, drowsy drivers experience many of the same physical and cognitive challenges that impaired drivers do.

Aggressive Motorists

Aggressive drivers take dangerous driving into a totally new territory. Aggressive drivers are dangerous by design and tend to engage in multiple dangerous driving practices simultaneously, including:

  • Passing illegally (such as on the shoulder or in intersections)
  • Maintaining top speeds
  • Tailgating
  • Attempting to engage other drivers by honking incessantly, screaming or gesturing obscenely, or flashing the car lights on and off
  • Ignoring traffic signs, signals, and lights
  • Refusing to yield the right-of-way

Aggressive drivers are the jewel in the crown of dangerous driving, and they often contribute to deadly pile-ups.

Who Is to Blame

If you’ve been injured in a pile-up, it’s important to determine who is liable for your injuries. While this is always a complicated endeavor when it comes to car accidents, it is even more so when multiple cars are involved. While your multi-car accident will be unique to you and the situation at hand, there are some basic situations that commonly apply.

A Forward Accident

If a motorist who is driving too fast for safety or who is unsafely distracted comes upon a forward accident and plows into it, both the negligent driver who caused the forward accident and that negligent driver from the rear who plows into it may be held liable. If you get tangled in the middle of this, your case may involve both of them.

An Obstacle in the Road

If a driver who is driving too fast or who is dangerously distracted plows into other vehicles that are stopped on the road for a valid reason (such as being stopped by a roadblock), the rear driver is responsible for the multi-car accident that ensues. Other motorists located in between these two vehicles and who are driving safely can become ensnared in the pile-up.

Seriously Negligent Rear Motorist

Sometimes, traffic has to slow down or stop quickly, and every driver must be prepared to do so. Sometimes, traffic as a whole will slow down safely in relation to whatever obstacle is ahead. Still, one seriously negligent rear motorist may continue barreling forward at top speed, leaving everyone in the stopped traffic ahead vulnerable to being involved in a dangerous multi-car accident. 

Seek the Professional Legal Counsel of an Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Attorney Today

If you’ve been injured in a multi-car accident, determining liability can be complicated, but it’s also an important element of your car accident claim. The practiced car accident attorneys at McCravy Law in South Carolina are proud to have more than 25 years of experience helping clients like you build their strongest claims and obtain the compensation to which they’re entitled. We’re here for you, too, so please don’t hesitate to call us at 864-388-9100 or contact us online for more information about how we can help you today.