Vehicle pileups can happen in the blink of an eye. In fact, a multiple-vehicle accident only takes about as much time to transpire as any ordinary two-car collision. Unfortunately, though, when multiple vehicles are involved, the severity and extent of damages tend to be significantly greater.
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we understand how utterly overwhelming multiple-vehicle accidents can be. Everything that is already frustrating about common accidents is amplified when numerous parties (and, often, numerous insurance companies) are involved in liability, fault, and compensation issues.
Your injuries may range from mild to severe, depending on your proximity to the initial collision(s). Nevertheless, if you weren’t the one at fault, chances are strong that you might be entitled to recovery under New York personal injury law.
Of course, figuring out exactly which parties are responsible can take time and effort. We’ll dive into the issue of multiple-vehicle accident liability below, but before we do, please know this: If you’ve been injured and somebody else was at fault, you are entitled to justice.
As New York vehicle accident attorneys, it’s our job to stick up for you. While all the other drivers, passengers, insurers, and attorneys quibble over the apportioning of payment and fault, we will fight for absolute fairness and comprehensive compensation for our clients.
Why Choose Us?
The city is not immune to accidents. Every month, thousands of accidents involve vehicles in New York City. Many people, including drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists, can be hurt in a multi-vehicle accident in a heavily used place like the Big Apple.
Our car accident attorneys in New York City at Kaplan Lawyers PC understand the devastation that can result from a series of collisions involving multiple vehicles, and we are well-versed in the complexities of such cases.
Our car accident attorneys will deal with the insurance providers on your behalf and fight for the money you deserve, as we are familiar with the procedures involved in resolving legal responsibility issues. If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, we will not hesitate to go to court!
When you hire our firm to represent you in a case involving personal injury, you can count on us to do the following for you:
- Find out what went wrong and who is to blame by investigating the accident
- Protect your right to compensation by filing any applicable insurance claims and litigation
- Take care of all interactions and agreements with insurers and other involved parties
- Gather evidence of your property damage and determine the cost of your injuries
- Aggressively seek out complete and equitable restitution.
Together, our attorneys have more than 40 years of expertise advocating for those injured in accidents. Here are a few of our many noteworthy accomplishments:
- Formed part of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association
- Achieved the BBB Torch Award for integrity and ethical practices
- American Association for Justice Award
- Top 100 Settlements for Personal Injury 2017
- ‘Excellent’ Avvo Rating for the featured personal injury attorney.
Our mission is to maximize the compensation you receive for your multi-vehicle accident. We want to exhaust all available options in pursuit of a just resolution. Our firm has been handling vehicle accident cases for many years, so we know what it takes to succeed.
While you focus on getting better from your injuries, you may count on us for legal counsel, direction, and support. Call our law firm in New York City to speak with qualified personal injury attorneys at no cost to you: (516) 399-2364.
How Frequent Are Accidents Involving Multiple Cars In New York City?
New York State has a high prevalence of multiple-vehicle collisions, especially in congested cities such as New York City.
The New York Police Department has reported that there are an average of over 8,000 auto accidents every month. This is primarily due to the congestion of roads and intersections that comes with a huge population.
Accidents involving two or more vehicles are inevitable when thousands of cars are on the road at once. Sadly, the number of people hurt or killed in an accident increases when more cars are involved.
Factors That Contribute to Multi-Vehicle Accidents
Reckless driving, such as weaving between lanes at high speed, can cause many car collisions. On the other hand, a multi-vehicle accident may result from a series of unrelated events that began with a single, careless act.
Rear-end accidents, junction collisions, highway pileups, and lane departure accidents are some of the most frequent scenarios that lead to injuries and fatalities. There are many possible contexts for a chain reaction collision, but there are also some commonalities. Including:
- Driving under the influence
- Driving while tired
- Dangerous and careless driving
- Awful weather conditions
Consequences of Collisions Involving Multiple Vehicles
According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 55% of automobile occupant deaths in 2020 happened in single-vehicle incidents, compared to 45% in multi-vehicle disasters (IIHS). The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) estimates that in 2021 there was a 16% increase in multi-vehicle crash deaths over the previous year.
Because a driver or passenger may be struck multiple times in a multi-vehicle disaster, these accidents pose a particular danger. For instance, a driver who gets rear-ended at high speed may slam into the car in front of them, taking a hit from both directions.
Fires can spread quickly in multi-vehicle collisions, posing a much more significant risk to the lives of the passengers and drivers involved. Likewise, if the doors are damaged and cannot be opened, or if the driver is too injured to leave the vehicle, the driver runs the risk of becoming trapped within.
Even in cases where the injuries are not fatal or severe, a driver or passenger may suffer other milder injuries with the potential to cause great physical, mental, and financial anguish.
These injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Injuries to the brain, including concussions
- Internal organ damage
- Cuts from shards of glass
- Disfiguration and scarring
- Injury to soft tissues
- Common neck injuries include whiplash and others
- Accidents resulting in spinal cord damage.
Moreover, a person may have emotional stress due to the accident, which may result in a variety of adverse side effects, such as claustrophobia (if the victim was trapped in the car for a long time) or nightmares about the incident. These wounds can be as devastating as any other kind of harm a person may suffer.
What To Do Following a Multi-Vehicle Collision
You should report the incident to the authorities after the crash. If somebody is wounded, please let the responders know. Try to get as much information from the witnesses as you can, including their names and phone numbers, as well as any photos or videos you can take at the site. Share your insurance and licensing information with the other drivers around you.
Seek medical assistance immediately, even if you do not think you were wounded. Adrenaline can mask the symptoms of many wounds, so they go undetected for some time. Furthermore, if you get injured and wait to consult a doctor, it could hinder your claim. Your insurance company will claim that your injuries were caused by something else or were already there before the accident.
Who’s at Fault in Multiple-Vehicle Accidents in New York City?
Assessing liability in a multi-car crash can be difficult. Just as numerous cars are involved, there are many potential causes and sources for liability. Police and insurance companies will each conduct an investigation, but injured parties can’t assume that either will fairly or accurately assess fault.
The issue at hand is which act(s) of negligence caused the accident and whether that act of negligence caused a given victim’s injuries.
The further down the chain of impact you are, the more likely the driver’s insurer is to reject your claim. They’ll argue that your injuries are too far removed from the driver’s negligence to have been caused by it.
But with an experienced attorney on your side, you can fight back. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we have years of experience with multiple-vehicle accidents in New York City and understand how the claims process works. We investigate each and every potential source of liability and compensation for our clients and then vigorously pursue them all.
Get in touch with us today, and together we can help you recover from this setback. We have locations on Long Island and in New York City.
Common Scenarios for Multiple-Vehicle Accidents in New York
Multiple-vehicle accident liability presents its unique set of issues, usually about the question of fault. Among the more common scenarios we see in these cases are:
- The Classic Chain Reaction — One car rear-ends another, causing a chain reaction of at least three vehicles. These scenarios sometimes present an exception to the usual rule that the rear-ender is typically at fault.
- Multiple Rear-Enders — This scenario is a little harder to follow. Imagine that cars A, B, C, and D are traveling in a line where A is in the front and D is in the rear. Now imagine that C rear-ends B, and the collision causes both cars to come to a screeching halt. Then, because of that sudden halt, D comes along and hits C, causing a chain reaction all the way up to A. In this case, C may be at fault even though D triggered the chain reaction. Of course, determining actual liability in these cases requires careful investigation and strategic negotiation.
- Negligence Up Front — Believe it or not, the front-most car can be found liable in multiple-vehicle accidents in New York City. Imagine, for instance, that the front driver suddenly stops in the middle of traffic for no reason or suddenly swerves into a lane without warning. Here again, evidence, investigation, and representation are very important.
- The Phantom Hit-and-Run — In these cases, the apparent rear vehicle claims that they weren’t actually in the rear. Instead, they claim that the genuinely liable party sped away in a hit-and-run (even though no one else saw the car). Is this person telling the truth? Sometimes yes; sometimes no. The attorneys and investigators must independently analyze the facts and ensure that their clients are not taken advantage of in the process.
- The Usual Suspects — Of course, some multiple-vehicle accidents unfold like any other crash caused by the usual kinds of negligence: speeding, intoxication (DUI), texting while driving, distracted driving, etc. Inclement weather often plays a part, too.
Moments before an accident happens, a driver’s choices are affected by many variables, including the weather, warning sounds, and speed.
Let’s take a look at this case example. Ms. Shaikh rear-ended a car, and another crashed into the back of Ms. Shaikh’s halted car only fifteen seconds after the first collision. Mr. Perez, the motorist in the rear, said he was going 15-20 miles per hour when he spotted Ms. Shaikh’s car stopped about four car lengths in front of him. It was raining, he said, and the road was wet, so his vehicle skidded when he tried to stop. Ms. Shaikh proved that she was not to blame for the collision that injured Mr. Perez. Her car accident with the car in front of her just set the stage for the event to unfold.
The Claims Process
Any time a person is hurt in a car accident, the responsible party must contact the police and file a report. Taking pictures of the vehicles involved and exchanging information with the other persons involved is an excellent way to document an accident.
In addition to noting the time, weather, and road conditions, a driver or passenger should get contact details from any witnesses. Anyone else who needs to file a personal injury case related to a multi-vehicle incident will find all this and more essential.
It takes more time to prosecute claims involving more than two vehicles because of the intricacy of the facts and the number of individuals involved. From what we’ve seen, it’s best to be patient and listen to legal counsel if you’ve filed a case against another motorist in connection with a multi-car collision.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the worth of a lawsuit for a multiple-car collision?
An automobile accident lawsuit’s possible damages depend on the injuries’ severity, the cost of care, and the mental distress they cause (both physical and emotional). During the initial consultation, an attorney can provide an estimate that is tailored to the client’s circumstances.
Whose insurance company pays for damages in a pileup?
Because of the “no-fault” insurance system in place in New York, victims of accidents are typically compensated by their own insurers, irrespective of who was at blame. Still, the question of negligence is sometimes at play, especially in situations involving multiple vehicles. Thus, this rule isn’t without exception.
Is the last car responsible when multiple vehicles collide?
When three or more vehicles rear-end one other, the result is a chain rear-end accident, also known as a chain reaction accident. The automobile in front of you in the line may be the least partially to blame for the problem.
To determine who is at fault, many variables must be looked into. Consider the weather, the driving speeds of the drivers, the spacing of the vehicles, and any obstacles in the road. For instance, even if the person in the rearmost car was following at a reasonable distance, if he or she was driving too fast for the weather conditions (such as snow), that person could still be held liable.
Who is at fault if you are struck from behind and collided with the vehicle in front of you?
This is dependent on a number of circumstances, including whether or not the driver was tailgating the car in front of them and/or whether the vehicle behind them was tailgating, speeding, and/or potentially distracted; weather conditions (skidding on black ice); and unexpected movements such as stopping quickly. For instance, if the two cars in front of you stopped at a red light, the driver of the car behind you will have a greater responsibility for the accident, but that does not necessarily mean they would be held entirely responsible.
Who should I contact if I’ve been in a multi-vehicle accident?
Accidents involving multiple vehicles are devastating events that can leave victims injured and in agony for the rest of their lives. Get in touch with Kaplan Lawyers as soon as possible if you or a family member has been hurt in a collision involving multiple vehicles.
Get Help from Experienced New York City Vehicle Accident Attorneys
Suppose you decide to settle with the insurance company. In that case, they might give you a sum that seems reasonable, and in exchange for the settlement money, you agree to drop any claims against the other party or parties in the car accident. In a collision involving many vehicles, you are strongly advised to get legal counsel before attempting to settle the case on your own.
These cases come with plenty of stones — we ensure that not one goes unturned. We fight tirelessly for our clients and ensure that their interests don’t overshadow all the other victims filing a claim. If there is a potential avenue for compensation, we will thoroughly explore it.
Our skilled and tenacious group of New York accident injury lawyers has a track record of success in obtaining compensation for clients in various New York personal injury situations. For a no-cost consultation, please get in touch with us at (516) 399-2364.
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan has focused his career on advancing his legal knowledge though the day to day practice of law. Jared is a partner in the law firm of Kaplan Lawyers PC in Syosset, New York and has been a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years. His career started in litigation, so Jared is aware of the pitfalls in litigation and uses that knowledge in the representation of his clients in complex matters. [ Attorney Bio ]