Car pileups are devastating accidents that have the potential to cause severe injuries and even death. Although they are rare, the devastation that they cause is impactful not only to those involved but to the whole community surrounding the accident.
What Is A Car Pileup?
A car pileup is a collision involving multiple vehicles on a roadway. Car pileups fall into three different categories:
- Intersection accidents- This happens when someone runs a red light and hits another vehicle or multiple vehicles in an intersection, setting off a chain reaction.
- Highway accidents- These accidents happen when people are speeding on highways. It is very easy for a person to lose control of their vehicle and not pay attention, causing a massive crash that can easily grow when cars find themselves unable to avoid it.
- Rear-end accidents- This happens when a line of vehicles crash into the back of each other.
What Causes Car Pileups?
Inclement weather and natural disasters can be the cause of car pileups; however, the most common cause of car pileups is negligence. Some negligent acts that lead to these accidents include:
- Distracted driving
Paying attention while on the road is the only way to prevent a car pileup. If you notice bad weather or a dangerous driver, make sure that you are safe and plan an escape route if needed.
What To Do After A Car Pileup
Car pileups are oftentimes more dangerous than a traditional car accident. This is because some vehicles can be hit by multiple other vehicles, debris could be flying, and can even start fires. If you have been involved in a car pileup, take these steps:
- Do not exit your vehicle unless it is safe to do so- Getting out of the situation may be a priority for those involved; however, in some situations, it is better to remain inside your car until help comes.
- Call for help- It is important to call 911 after your accident, even if you don’t believe you are hurt. Authorities and emergency vehicles will need to arrive to remove the cars and debris from the road. EMTs can check to see if you are suffering from an injury and help transport others to the hospital.
- Document the scene- Taking pictures of the scene is useful whether you only need to send them to your insurance company or if you plan to file a lawsuit.
- Collect the insurance information from others involved- If possible, try to get insurance information from all those involved in the pileup. This may be difficult if the accident is large; however, it may be beneficial to you down the road.
- Contact an attorney- If you are planning to file a lawsuit, contact a reputable car accident attorney in your area.
- Contact your insurance company- Your attorney will tell you how to speak to your insurance company after the accident. You may also provide them with photos of the accident.
To receive money from your insurance provider or file a lawsuit, you will need to prove that you did not cause the accident and attempt to figure out the liable party.
Who Is Liable For A Car Pileup?
When it comes to liability in a car pileup, experts typically can gauge the liable party based on the size of the accident and how many cars are involved. If the pileup is massive, it is usually the result of bad weather, whereas smaller pileups are usually due to human error or negligence. Figuring out what began the accident can tend to be pretty straightforward. In cases where the weather causes a pileup, a liable party may not be the first car to succumb to the treacherous conditions. It may be the fault of improper road treatments. If a pileup is due to negligence, the car that initiated the accident may be found liable for the damages caused by their actions.
Car Pileup Accidents
On February 11, 2021, when Texas was experiencing freezing temperatures, an ice-covered road was responsible for creating a pileup of over 130 vehicles on the interstate. Early in the morning, the combination of freezing rain and a dark atmosphere caused cars to collide with each other. Ambulances and emergency services arrived on the scene a little after 6 am to find a devastating pileup that left six dead and dozens of other drivers injured. The community was distraught, and many people wondered if their loved ones traveling on that interstate were safe. Texans are not used to the cold weather, and it’s possible the roads were not treated as effectively as in most other states who experience regular snowy and icy roads. Authorities involved in this accident stated that cities need to be proactive in treating their roads to ensure that accidents like this don’t become common in the colder months.
Another incident resulting from icy roads was a 69 car pileup near Williamsburg, Virginia, in 2019. In addition to icy roads, there was ample fog that hindered many driver’s vision and caused a chain reaction crash. Many cars were angled because of how they hit each other, and dozens of people suffered from injuries relating to the accident. It was reported that over 50 people needed to be transported to the hospital, two of which were in critical condition. In response, the lanes were shut down and cleared. The site of the accident, the Queens Creek Bridge, did not sustain damage due to the accident and was deemed safe for future travel.
Contact A Car Accident Attorney
Make sure you are within your state’s statute of limitations before contacting an attorney for your case. You should contact an attorney following your car pileup accident if you have experienced these factors:
- You have sustained an injury due to the accident.
- A liable party has not been established.
- The police report does not do the accident justice.
- The driver who initiated the accident is uninsured.
- You are having trouble with your insurance company after the accident.
If you have been involved in a car pileup and need an attorney, contact The Eichholz Law Firm. We are experienced in handling cases similar to yours and will ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.