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Who is At Fault in a Chain Reaction Car Accident?

Posted on December 22, 2021 in

Chain reaction collisions often result in devastating injuries and extensive property damage. However, securing compensation in the aftermath of a chain reaction collision can be challenging. Determining fault in these situations is important, but complicated. Here, we want to discuss who may be at fault in a chain-reaction car accident in Colorado.

What is a Chain Reaction Collision?

Anecdotally, everybody knows what a chain reaction collision is. However, if you asked five individuals to define a chain-reaction collision, you will probably get five separate answers. Yes, a chain reaction collision is what it sounds like – a collision that begins with an initial crash between two vehicles that creates enough force or enough of a hazard to lead to other vehicles being involved in the same collision. There is a range of possible scenarios that could lead to a chain reaction collision, some of which we will briefly describe here:

  • Vehicle 1 sustains a rear-end collision by Vehicle 2 at a stoplight or stop sign. The force of this collision could cause Vehicle 1 to zoom forward into oncoming traffic and slam into a third, fourth, or fifth vehicle (or more).
  • Two vehicles are stopped on the roadway when another vehicle approaches them from the rear, but fails to stop. This third vehicle would slam into the second vehicle, which would subsequently lead to the second vehicle slamming into the first. You can imagine how this type of collision could quickly get out of hand on a highway or an Interstate, particularly if vehicles are already stopped on the roadway, and others are approaching at high rates of speed.

These are only two possible scenarios that could lead to chain reaction collisions, but you can be sure that there are many other ways that these incidents can occur.

Who is Liable for a Chain Reaction Collision?

Determining liability for chain-reaction collision is challenging. In most situations, we find that these collisions occur as a result of mistakes made by one or more drivers. Some of the most common causes of chain-reaction collisions in Colorado include:

  • Following others too closely
  • Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
  • Failing to use a turn signal
  • Alcohol or drug impairment
  • Operating while distracted

Typically, fault for a chain reaction collision will fall to the driver who makes the initial impact that causes the reaction in the first place. However, it could be possible for more than one driver to share fault for these incidents. If it is determined that there is shared fault, the modified comparative negligence system in Colorado will come into effect. In this state, individuals can recover compensation if they are less than 50% responsible for causing a crash. However, the total amount of compensation an individual receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.

Working With an Attorney

If you or somebody you know has been involved in a chain reaction collision in Colorado, you may have to work with an attorney to secure compensation for your medical bills and property damage expenses. A lawyer will conduct a complete and investigation to uncover any evidence that can help prove liability. This includes photographs taken at the scene of the incident, statements from eyewitnesses and other drivers, video surveillance, the police reports, and more.

A Denver car accident attorney will also make sure that they handle all communication and negotiations with other parties in order to obtain maximum compensation on behalf of their client.