Who’s Responsible in a Pile-Up Chain Reaction Crash?

Multiple car pileups on freeways and multi-lane highways are the source of some of the most dangerous accidents causing serious injuries and even fatalities. The difficulty is that with the high speeds and the multiple lanes of traffic, a single crash can start a chain reaction that can involve several vehicles and injure multiple people.

Many times, the first impact isn’t that serious, but when the other cars that come upon the scene are unable stop, then serious injuries can occur.

Two Die in Multi-Car Pileup Crash in El Monte

On Sunday, November 17, 2019, in El Monte, California, six cars collided on the 10 Freeway one right after another, killing the driver of a passenger car and a motorcycle rider. According to the California Highway Patrol, the accident started when a 20013 Acura hit the center divider and stopped across the carpool lane and the fast lane of the freeway.

An approaching Ford Transit hit the Acura, and a 2013 Harley Davidson hit the now stopped Ford Transit instantly killing the rider. The Acura was then struck by three other vehicles, a 2007 Mercedes-Benz E350, followed by a 2002 Chevrolet S-10 and a 2017 Honda Civic, said a CHP spokesperson.

The driver of the Ford Transit was taken to the hospital, and it appeared that the occupants of the other cars only received minor injuries.

Who Killed the Driver?

In this accident, police are still investigating, but so far, it’s unknown which impact killed the Acura driver. While we don’t know what the outcome will be in the case, in many cases, it remains unclear which driver(s) caused which injuries or deaths.

When this happens, it can be difficult to easily determine which driver’s insurance company will pay for which injuries or death.

How is Fault Determined?

In all cases, every driver who is at fault is required to pay for all injuries and damages resulting from that driver’s negligence. So to determine who is at fault in a multi-vehicle accident, the circumstances surrounding each injury or death is looked at with an attempt to see which impact caused the injuries or the fatality.

For example, if a car is stopped in a lane, it is the fault of the driver who hit the stopped car? Or is it the fault of the driver of the car that is stopped? There’s an old rule-of-thumb in rear-end crashes and that is when you hit someone in front of you, it’s your fault?

However, should that be true when the speed limit is 65 or 70 and a driver comes around a corner following the speed limit and then hits a car stopped in the lane? This is a tough question, and ultimately in our system, it’s decided by a jury if the parties can’t sit down and come to an agreement.

Negligence Determines Fault

A driver is negligent when a jury determines the actions of a driver fall short of what a reasonably prudent person would do under similar circumstances. In other words, if the driver was speeding or was distracted, then a jury might consider him or her negligent for not paying attention or for going too fact.

Then if the jury determines that the negligence of the driver caused the injuries and financial losses of the victim. If so, the driver has to pay the victim compensation. In California, the law requires that a jury assign each driver—including the victim—a percentage of fault, and each person pays their percentage of the damages.

Contact an Auto Accident Attorney

The best thing to do when injured in an automobile accident is to talk to s Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney who understands the law and has experience getting injured victims the compensation they deserve.

Call the Law Offices of Steers & Associates at 800 824 5416 or click here to contact us online. We have attorneys with years of experience dealing with every type of motor vehicle accident, and we get results against the insurance companies and their highly-paid lawyers. Call us now to even the playing field and get the compensation you deserve.



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