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How Do Pile-Up Crashes Happen and Who is Responsible for the Damage?

 Posted on June 22, 2024 in Car Accident

Larimer County, CO personal injury lawyerMulti-vehicle car crashes, or pile-ups, are car accidents that involve three or more vehicles. They are known to cause heavy injuries and fatalities. People who sustain injuries from a pile-up car accident sometimes want to seek compensation for damages caused by their injuries.

In order to receive compensation, however, you need to know who was at fault. This is more difficult to prove in a multi-vehicle crash, which involves several drivers. That is why one of the first things you should do if you are injured in a pile-up is contact a Colorado car accident attorney who can walk you through the next steps.

How Do Pile-Up Crashes Happen?

Pile-up car crashes often happen when a driver fails to see an upcoming obstacle or car in time. The driver crashes into the car ahead with enough velocity to cause a “chain reaction,” so that the second car is propelled into a third car. Alternatively, the first driver, after colliding with the car in front, could be hit from behind by a driver who failed to stop in time.

What Are the Main Causes Behind Pile-Ups?

According to some studies, the most common cause of multi-vehicle collisions is poor visibility. This can happen when there is heavy fog, smoke, a rainstorm, a snowstorm, or other weather conditions. Other causes of pile-up crashes include:

  • Driver-related factors: A driver is more likely to cause a pile-up if he or she is driving distractedly, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, is driving recklessly, or is clumsy.

  • Road work: Sometimes pile-ups happen when there is road construction and a lane is suddenly closed off or merges into another lane. Road work can also cause high traffic volume and full road closures.

  • Slipperiness: Rain, sleet, and ice are often causes of drivers losing control of their vehicles and ending up in multi-vehicle collisions.

Who Is at Fault in a Pile-Up?

Colorado has a comparative negligence law, which means that more than one person can be found negligent, or at fault, for an injury. This includes the injured party. 

Under Colorado law, a personal injury victim cannot receive compensation for his or her injury if he or she is found to be at least 50 percent at fault for the injury. This means that if you were injured in a pile-up and you were texting while driving, you may lose your right to compensation for damages.

Furthermore, even if you are less than 50 percent at fault, your compensation will be impacted by your degree of fault. So, if you are found to be 25 percent at fault, you will receive 25 percent less compensation than you would have if you were not at fault at all.

This applies to all drivers involved in a pile-up crash, so the fault can be distributed among multiple individuals.

Contact a Larimer County, CO Car Accident Attorney

How much compensation you receive will depend on your injuries and your degree of fault, or negligence. You will need to prove negligence on the part of the other driver(s) while defending yourself against the same charge. That is a difficult task that should be entrusted to an experienced Fort Collins, Colorado car accident lawyer.

At Hoggatt Law Office, P.C., we have extensive experience in multi-vehicle collisions. Our attorneys understand how to prove negligence and are ready to fight aggressively to get you the most compensation possible. Call 970-225-2190 for a free consultation today.

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