Any accident can cause stress and injuries, but a chain reaction collision can cause many injuries and severe damage to all vehicles involved. One vehicle causes the initial impact, but other vehicles may not have the ability to stop and more collisions occur. Major roadways such as interstates are commonplace for chain reaction collisions due to the high rate of speed the vehicles are going and the amount of vehicles on the roadway. Fatalities are a reality of these crashes because of the amount of force from being hit more than once and the speed of the vehicles. If a victim gets out of their vehicle, there is a chance they may be hit while trying to escape. Here are some causes and tips on what to do after a chain reaction collision.
A chain reaction collision can happen on smaller roadways as well as the larger ones. If individuals are driving while distracted, they may not notice that a driver in front of them has slowed down or suddenly stopped for some reason. They rear-end that vehicle, and if the person behind them is following too closely, they may not be able to stop in time. The vehicle behind that one may be traveling too fast and hit the others, and so on. Low-visibility conditions can cause drivers to become involved in these types of crashes. Even if visibility is good, things like black ice may be a contributing factor.
Fault in a chain reaction collision can be difficult to determine. Several people are involved and each is probably going to blame it on someone else. In some cases, one of the negligent drivers may be obvious such as a drunk driver. In other cases, it may be a more difficult determination. An experienced personal injury attorney knows the laws and knows what to investigate to figure out negligence in a chain reaction collision.
What to do
If you find yourself involved in a chain reaction collision, it is important to try and remain as calm as you can. Call the police as soon as possible if you are able, even if you believe someone else has called. It is important to get a police report as soon after the accident as possible, and collect witness information. Because there are many vehicles involved, a driver who is at fault may attempt to slip away unnoticed.
It’s best, if possible, to remain in your vehicle until the police or medical help arrive. Getting out can put you in more danger because other vehicles may hit you, especially if you are on a roadway with high speed limits. You may not be able to in some cases. For instance, if your vehicle begins to smoke or is on fire, you need to get away from it as soon as possible.
Always accept the offer for medical attention. You may feel okay at the moment but feel terrible once the shock has worn off. The later you wait to receive medical help, the more likely it is that you won’t be able to use this in a personal injury case. Get a medical report to back up the doctors confirmation. If you have injuries that require ongoing medical treatment, you should try and get confirmation from the doctor of that in writing.
You should contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney before contacting the insurance company. Insurance companies will try to offer you a settlement that will be much lower than the compensation that you deserve. You may need psychological treatment or ongoing medical treatment for months, years or even a lifetime. An attorney can advise you on how to communicate with the insurance company.