Being in an accident is stressful enough, but being in an accident that involves multiple vehicles can be even more stressful. Factors unique to a multiple-car accident such as determining fault, can really complicate matters. By knowing what to do in the event of an accident involving multiple vehicles, you can better protect yourself and your legal rights.
Is it Safe to Leave Your Vehicle?
In the moments following your accident, only one thing matters: is everybody okay? If so, you may ask: is it safe to leave your vehicle? In a multiple-car accident such as a pile-up, leaving your vehicle immediately may be dangerous because the accident may not be over yet. Instead, you may need to remain in your vehicle with your seatbelt fastened, just in case your vehicle is hit again.
If you’re unable to leave your vehicle for any reason, be sure to contact emergency personnel so they know about the accident (don’t count on bystanders to call on your behalf), and your specific location. This is especially important if there are multiple vehicles involved.
After the Accident: First Steps
If you’re able to safely leave your vehicle after an accident, the first thing you need is to be evaluated by medical professionals. Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, it’s important to be examined because injuries may initially go unnoticed due to the adrenaline and shock of the accident. If you end up going to court for injuries related to your accident, you’ll also want to have proof that you received medical attention immediately afterward—not days or weeks later.
Next, document everything to the best of your abilities. This should include taking detailed photos of the accident scene, as well as obtaining statements from any witnesses who are willing to provide them. For any witnesses you speak with, it’s also a good idea to write down their contact information in case their testimony is needed in court at a later date.
Determining Fault in a Multiple Car Accident
Figuring out who is at-fault in a multiple car accident isn’t always easy. There are some instances, such as rear-end accidents, where it may be a little more cut-and-dry. Otherwise, a careful review of the circumstances surrounding the accident (including witness testimony and photos of the accident scene) will be needed to determine who was at fault. And of course, there are situations where more than one driver could be found partially at-fault as well.
Been in a Multiple-Car Accident?
If you’ve recently been involved in a multiple-car accident, seeking legal guidance will always be in your best interest before moving forward with any claim or settlement. The Vancouver car accident attorneys at Warnett Hallen LLP have the experience and knowledge necessary to represent you and your best interests—no matter the circumstances surrounding your case.
Contact Warnett Hallen LLP: Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyers
Schedule a free legal consultation today to receive the guidance you need moving forward. You can reach us by calling our office at (604) 737-3300. Let us put our years of experience in handling auto accident cases to work for you.