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Rockford personal injury attorneysWinter weather is in full force in the Rockford area, and icy roads and deep snow can make driving a treacherous task. “Pile-ups” or car accidents involving multiple vehicles are not uncommon during this time of year. These accidents cannot only lead to painful and often deadly injuries, they also present complex legal and financial issues. If you or a loved one were involved in a multi-car accident, you may have concerns about liability and damages. Will you be expected to pay for other motorists’ damages? Will you be compensated for your own damages? Read on to learn more about the unique issues involved in multiple-vehicle accidents.

Establishing Fault for a Multiple-Car Collision

Accidents involving three or more vehicles can cause severe and deadly injuries as well as costly property damage. Before a car accident victim can recover financial compensation for their damages, the liable party must be established. The greater number of factors that contributed to an accident, the harder it is to establish fault. A multiple car accident may involve situations such as:

  • A vehicle rear-ends another vehicle and causes it to collide with a third vehicle.  
  • Two vehicles collide and one of the vehicles is pushed into oncoming traffic where a secondary collision occurs.
  • Drivers swerve to avoid stopped vehicles on the road, fallen truck cargo, or other obstacles and cause an accident.
  • Establishing fault in accidents such as these is much harder than establishing fault in accidents involving only two motorists. Fault for a multi-car pile up may lie with one or more drivers, a commercial company such as a trucking company, or even a government entity such as a city or state.

Shared Liability in Pile-up Accidents

In many multiple-vehicle accidents, there is more than one liable party. Illinois follows a legal doctrine called “modified comparative negligence” in car accident injury cases involving shared liability. If a party is found to be more than 50 percent at fault for an accident, that party is prohibited from recovering compensation for damages. If the party is less than 50 percent responsible for the accident, the amount of compensation he or she may be entitled to is reduced by his or her portion of fault.

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Rockford car accident injury attorneysAlthough we rarely think about it, getting into a car is one of the most dangerous things we do on a regular basis. It is estimated that approximately 6 million car accidents occur in the U.S. every year, resulting in 3 million injuries. Car accident victims may be other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, or passengers. If you have been injured in a car accident and you were not the driver, you may have questions about your legal options. You may be left with expensive medical bills and other financial losses caused by your injuries. In many cases, a personal injury claim can help injured passengers obtain financial compensation for losses such as these.

Determining Fault for Your Car Accident

Before you can recover compensation for a car accident, the liable or at-fault party must be determined. In many car accidents, there is more than one party who is considered to be at fault. For example, one driver may have been speeding while the other driver was texting and driving or otherwise distracted. However, a passenger cannot be held liable for a car accident because he or she was not in control of a vehicle. If more than one party is liable for a car accident, you may need to file multiple claims in order to recover enough compensation to cover the full extent of your damages.

Personal Injury Claims When a Friend or Loved One Is At Fault

Many injured passengers find themselves in tricky situation because the liable party is someone that they are close to. If you were involved in a car accident and the at-fault party was your family member, friend, co-worker, or someone else with whom you have a relationship, you may be hesitant to bring an injury claim and pursue compensation. However, it is important to note that when you bring a personal injury claim for injuries suffered in a car accident, you are not usually expecting the driver to pay for your losses personally. The payments will most likely be made by his or her car insurance company.

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