Liability in a Multi-Vehicle Crash

Charlottesville VA Auto Accident Lawyers

Liability in a Multi-Vehicle CrashMulti-vehicle presents some unique issues compared to two-vehicle crashes. One of the most common issues has to do with determining who was at fault for the incident. In some multi-vehicle accidents, it is only one driver who is responsible for the entire incident, while in other crashes, there may be multiple drivers who contributed to some way to the incident.

Victims who have been injured in multi-car accidents may have difficulty trying to figure out who is the party that is responsible for the losses their injuries have caused them. This is why retaining the services of one of our firm’s auto accident lawyers in Charlottesville VA can be beneficial and get victims the best possible results based on the circumstances of the crash they were involved in.

There are two different types of legal negligence that are addressed in each state’s personal injury laws, contributory and comparative negligence. If a victim was in some way partially liable for the accident that injured them and the state they live in only recognizes the contributory negligence doctrine, the victim is completely barred from pursuing any type of damages against anyone else involved in the crash.

If the state only recognizes the comparative negligence doctrine, then the victim is allowed to pursue for damages, but the final award could have a percentage deducted from the total amount. For example, if a victim was awarded $100,000 in a final award, but it was determined that they were 20 percent responsible for the incident, then $20,000 (20 percent) would be deducted from the final amount and they would only receive $80,000 from the at-fault party. Keep in mind, however, in the majority of states that recognize the comparative negligence doctrine, the victim cannot have been more than 50 percent at fault.

In multi-vehicle accidents, each of the drivers is usually assigned their own percentage of fault of the incident, thus allowing drivers at least partial recovery of damages they sustain due to the injuries they suffer in the crash. But this can also get confusing for victims because they will likely need to file multiple claims in order to collect the entire amount of financial compensation that they are entitled to.

If driver 1 is deemed to be 20 percent at fault, driver 2 is 30 percent at fault, and driver 3 is 50 percent at fault, a victim would want to file claims against all three drivers (if appropriate) in order to reach 100 percent compensation. If the victim only filed a claim against driver number 2, then they would only receive 30 percent of the amount of damages they suffered because that is all that driver number 2 is legally responsible for.

And just like smaller crashes, victims in multi-car vehicle accidents are entitled to medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, scarring, and disability. Charlottesville VA auto accident lawyers will be able to determine what damages you are entitled to and which parties claims should be filed against.

Contact Our Virginia Lawyers

We serve clients throughout Virginia — from Charlottesville and Central Virginia to metropolitan Richmond; Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley to Roanoke; and the cities of Hampton Roads to the Northern Virginia cities of  Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington.

To speak with one of our attorneys, please call us at (434) 817-3100.

Our Virginia personal injury lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. have a statewide practice and offer free consultations at a time and location that is convenient for you.  We will gladly meet with you at your home or at the hospital, even on nights and weekends.


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