Bridgeport Chain Reaction Accident Lawyer

A closeup of multiple vehicles involved in a chain reaction car accident.Chain reaction accidents are often caused by one initial collision, which leads to the next, and so on. For instance, one driver rear-ends the car in front of them, sending the front car into the vehicle in front of it.

The third car may then be pushed into a fourth car, and so on.

These cases can be challenging to sort out as some of the drivers blame other drivers. You may have legitimately done nothing wrong, but another driver still decides to sue you for their damages.

There is usually a police report on chain reaction collisions, but it doesn’t always shed light on what happened. Unless the responding officer witnessed the crash, they will have to decide what happened based on the available evidence, which is minimal in some cases.

The officer will interview each driver and any witnesses (usually passengers, but sometimes people in other cars). They will also examine the scene for evidence, but with a multi-car crash, there is often a large amount of debris to sort through.

At the end of the day, there might not be enough evidence for a clear conclusion.

The officer will make sure all the motorists involved exchange insurance information, after which most of the drivers will try to make a claim on another driver’s liability policy. Insurance company adjusters are always on the lookout for a reason to reject a claim, and they frequently find multiple excuses in multi-car accidents, starting with disputes about fault.

How Can a Bridgeport Chain Reaction Accident Attorney Help With Your Claim?

After a multi-car accident, the various insurance companies may take months to work out who was at fault and which insurance company will pay for what. In chain reaction collisions, the driver who caused the initial collision that started the “chain reaction” is usually considered to be liable.

However, Connecticut law allows for shared fault, so an insurance adjuster may claim that other drivers were partly responsible as well, complicating the process. 

If you are found to be partially at fault, you can still collect damages if your share of fault is below 51 percent. The downside is that you will lose your own percentage of responsibility from the final award.

That means if you were 10 percent at fault, you would lose 10 percent of your damages.

When the insurance companies settle things on their own, individual claimants often suffer for several reasons:

  • Your insurance adjuster won’t want to pay out any of the other drivers’ claims, but they might agree you had some percentage of fault below 51 percent to move things along. They won’t have an obligation to pay any claims, but you could lose some of your damages, which is problematic if you had no or a very limited role in the collision. For instance, you might only be 5 or 10 percent at fault, but your insurance adjuster may agree to 20 or 30 percent. It won’t cost them anything, but it could cost you thousands of dollars.
  • Insurance companies frequently undervalue an injured person’s claim. If the insurance adjuster accepts that you are not at fault and makes an offer, it could be a lowball one that doesn’t fully encompass all your damages. Unfortunately, figuring out on your own whether the offer is fair can be complicated. The average layperson is not profoundly knowledgeable about the insurance industry or what various damages are worth, so it can be hard to know if you should accept an offer or not.

An experienced car accident attorney can assist you with both of these difficulties. We’ll work to demonstrate that you were not at fault in the crash, identify the liable party or parties, and establish a reasonable value for your claim.

Then, we’ll assist you in pursuing the recovery you need to move forward with your life. 

What if you’ve already received an offer from an insurance company? We’ll review it with you, calculate your claim’s worth, and help you compare numbers.

If the offer doesn’t cover all your damages, we’ll negotiate with the insurance company for a better deal. 

How Do You Prove Fault in a Chain Reaction Accident?

The best first step is to take pictures at the accident scene. Try to capture all the damage to your car and other vehicles—and if your phone’s camera has a 360-degree mode, create a wide shot of the whole accident scene (or as much as you can get).

We also recommend close-up shots of any damage to your vehicle and any debris on the ground, such as car parts, broken glass, fallen bumpers, etc. Additionally, please take pictures of your injuries.

However, we understand that in some situations, you aren’t in a position to get out of your car and take pictures. If you’re seriously injured, the 911 operator will probably tell you to stay in the car and wait for help to arrive, and you should follow their instructions. 

In these cases, our investigators will search for other sources of photo or video evidence of the collision.

Local cameras, such as those attached to doorbells, traffic lights, or security systems, are often a good source of videos. Unfortunately, the camera owner may not know they have critical evidence in an accident case, and videos are often erased regularly to make room for future recordings.

For this reason, it’s helpful to contact us as soon as possible after your accident to ensure we have the best chance of locating a video.

When you talk to the police after your accident, you should answer their questions honestly but briefly. There is no reason to give your opinion about fault—especially if you think you were even partly to blame for the accident.

Many people incorrectly assume they made a mistake or caused an accident based on their limited perspective of the collision, but they might not know everything that happened.

Our team will also study the police report, and we may ask you questions if some information is not clear. When there are still unanswered questions, we’ll seek out other potential witnesses in an effort to learn more.

Sometimes, by canvassing the area where the accident took place, we can locate witnesses the police didn’t have a chance to interview.

Additionally, we will seek data from all the vehicles’ event data recorders, or EDRs, which can provide a wealth of information about how fast each vehicle was moving, in what direction, and what actions each driver took. If we suspect someone was distracted by their smartphone, we may also request phone records.

Is the Rear Driver Always at Fault?

In a typical rear-end collision, it’s usually assumed the rear driver is at fault for following too closely, with some exceptions. The idea is that everyone should maintain a safe following distance because you never know when the driver ahead of you could stop suddenly.

For example, another driver could have engine problems or might have to brake because a pedestrian or bicyclist darts out in front of them. If you can’t stop in time, then you are following too closely.

However, chain reaction accidents are a bit different. You might be rear-ended by another car with such force that your vehicle is pushed into the car in front of you.

This could happen if you were going slowly, maintaining a safe following distance, or even, in some cases, completely stopped. Now, you have damage to both the front and rear end of your vehicle that will be costly to fix, plus you could have injuries like whiplash, back pain, or even a head injury from the force of the rear-end collision.

While you’re trying to get the rear driver’s insurance company to pay your damages, the front driver could be making a claim on your insurance for similar reasons. Your Bridgeport personal injury lawyer will work to show that you were driving safely and that the rear driver’s actions pushed your vehicle into the car in front of you.

How to Get Help From a Bridgeport Chain Reaction Accident Law Firm Today

Chain reaction accidents are complicated, and it’s likely that some or all of the other parties are already consulting their own attorneys. If you’ve been in a multi-car collision, please contact Bert McDowell Injury Law Firm as soon as possible for a free consultation about your case.

We’ll review the police report, answer your questions, and explain the options for recovering your damages.

Attorney Bert McDowell, Jr. is an experienced and highly effective litigator who helps clients with car accidents and other personal injury situations. He has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured people and their families and was featured in the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40.

Additionally, he has been a Super Lawyers Rising Star for four consecutive years. When he’s not working on a case, Mr. McDowell is committed to community service and is on the board of multiple nonprofits.

He was honored for his efforts with the 100 Men of Color Award and also received the Man of Excellence Award from the organization Black People Rocks. Work with him today by calling (203) 590-9169 today.