Recently, a multi-vehicle crash led to a traffic backup on Highway 101 in California. According to Noozhawk, there were five vehicles involved in the accident, which happened shortly before 4 p.m. The accident was believed to be a "chain-reaction, rear-end collision," according to the Battalion Chief of the fire department who responded to the crash scene.
Three of the vehicles which were involved in the chain reaction rear-end crash had sustained major damage. Three of the motorists who were involved in the crash also sustained injuries. These motorists had to be taken to the hospital for treatment.
The extent of their injuries due to the rear-end accidents was unknown at the time of the report on the accident, nor was the specific cause of the crash. Authorities were investigating how the accident had first begun. Unfortunately, this can become very complicated when a chain reaction happens.
Rear-End Accidents Can Lead to Complicated Chain-Reaction Crashes
In a typical rear-end accident case, a driver hits the back of another car and the driver in the rear vehicle is presumed to have been negligent. This is because it is the responsibility of a rear driver to leave sufficient space between his car and another vehicle to allow the rear driver to react to what the front driver does. If a rear driver can't stop in time to avoid hitting the front car, he is assumed to have been tailgating and engaging in unsafe behavior, unless proved otherwise.
Sometimes, however, a rear-end accident turns into a multi-vehicle chain reaction collision like in this recent California crash. This can happen when the rear car pushes the lead car into the car which is in front of the lead vehicle. This chain can go on and on, with that car then pushed into the car in front of it and so on. In this recent California accident, there were only five involved vehicles, but sometimes chain reaction crashes can have dozens of cars which have all collided.
Whether there are three cars, five cars like this crash, or more, it becomes hard to determine who can actually be considered at fault and thus liable for causing harm. The driver in the middle vehicle who is pushed forward into the car in front of him has not necessarily done anything wrong, other than having the bad luck of getting hit. However, if that middle car was tailgating and not maintaining a safe following distance, the driver of the middle car's actions could have played a role in contributing to causing the chain reaction crash.
Because of the complications which can be associated with a rear-end accident turning into a chain reaction collision, it is important for victims of multi-vehicle accidents to gather as much evidence as they can from the crash scene and to turn to a lawyer for help in proving their right to compensation for injuries and losses.
If you've been injured, or you lost a loved one, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707 to speak with a personal injury attorney in Irvine, CA. Serving Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Ana, Riverside and surrounding areas.