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If You Were Injured in a Multi-Vehicle Accident, Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is here to Help

Multi-vehicle accidents, also known as pile-ups or chain reaction crashes, can be extremely destructive, traumatic events.  Getting into a car accident with another driver is always stressful and a scary experience. But an accident involving multiple cars, trucks, or buses can be especially devastating. These types of accidents can cause serious damage, life-threatening injuries, and lasting trauma. What’s more, they tend to be legally complex, and present unique challenges when it comes to determining liability. In order to receive fair compensation for your injuries, you will need a highly skilled injury lawyer with experience handling multi-vehicle car accident cases.

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Whether you were in a three-vehicle crash on a city street or a massive pileup on the highway, an experienced car accident attorney at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is ready to help you with your claim. For more than 60 years, the multi-vehicle accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have helped people throughout Pennsylvania and beyond with the most complicated car accident claims. We will pursue all possible sources of recovery, and ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you’re due. We understand the challenges you will experience in the aftermath of a major accident, and will be by your side each step of the way. Our team has a decades-long record of success, including numerous multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts. You can rest assured that your case is in the right hands.

There is no charge for an initial consultation with one of our nationally-ranked personal injury lawyers, and there is no fee for our services unless we win your case. Get the help you need today. Begin with a free, no-obligation consultation. Call, chat live, or fill out our contact form today.

How is Fault Determined in a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident?

Marion Munley speaking with a client After any car accident, it can be difficult to get the compensation you need from the insurance company. After a multi-vehicle pile up, however, it can be even more challenging. A multi-vehicle accident involves numerous drivers with numerous insurance policies and varying levels of coverage. It is entirely likely that the other drivers’ insurance companies will deny liability, attempting to place the blame on one or more of the other vehicles involved.

This is one reason why it is important to have an experienced multi car accident lawyer represent you. We will work with police and investigators to identify the driver or drivers deemed at fault, and we will sort through the various insurance policies to make sure you receive the full amount of compensation you’re due.

In a multi-vehicle car accident, it can be difficult to determine who is at fault. In fact, there may be more than one driver at fault.  That means you’ll need to pursue simultaneous claims against multiple drivers.

A multi-vehicle accident can take weeks or months for law enforcement to investigate, depending on the circumstances of the crash and the number of vehicles involved. Investigators must develop a timeline for the crash, interview witnesses, identify drivers and passengers, untangle wrecked vehicles, view dashcam footage, and more to put together a report.

What’s more, there may be conflicting stories about who hit whom, and who was at fault for the events that occurred. This is why you need a personal injury law firm that has the resources and legal acumen to determine liability and fight for the compensation you deserve. Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys’s on-staff team of investigators routinely visit accident scenes and take photographs of physical evidence. They search for eyewitnesses, skid marks, yaw marks, accident debris, and gouge marks, as well as oil, gas, and radiator fluid stains that can disappear quickly after an accident. We will also obtain police reports, motor carrier records, witness statements, photographs, and safety logs. The sooner you engage us to represent you, the sooner we can get to work.

During this time, you’ll need help navigating the recovery process. We know you’re eager to get the care you need and get your bills paid.

What Compensation is Available for a Multi Car Accident?

Caroline Munley speaking with paralegal in her officeAs the victim of a serious vehicle accident, you may be able to sue for both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages include explicit financial losses you have incurred as a result of the accident. These include ambulance bills, medical bills, emergency medical care, future medical treatment, physical therapy and rehabilitation, lost wages, and lost earning power.

Non-economic damages include the physical pain and suffering you have endured or will continue to endure, diminished quality of life, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and similar losses.

The total amount of compensation you can obtain in your case will depend on the extent of your injuries and related losses, and on the available insurance coverage.

If you’ve been involved in a multi-vehicle accident that caused you an injury, don’t wait. Contact a multi-vehicle accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys now for a free consultation.

What Are the Causes of a Multi-Vehicle Accident?

Multi-vehicle accidents often happen suddenly. An unexpected obstacle in the road or change in road conditions can cause a vehicle to lose control and set off a chain reaction involving numerous other cars, trucks, and buses.

Here are a few common causes that result in a multi-vehicle car accident:

Bad Weather Conditions

Unfavorable weather conditions such as ice, snow, or heavy rain are a common cause of highway pile-up accidents. Sudden snow squalls can reduce visibility to zero in a matter of seconds; these “whiteout” conditions can easily lead to a deadly multi-vehicle car accident. Likewise, ice can cause roads to become slick unexpectedly and cause vehicles to skid or crash into other motorists. Tractor trailers can jackknife, roll over, or skid into other vehicles in their path. Even heavy fog can reduce visibility and lead to a chain reaction wreck. This is why it is extremely important to exercise caution and reduce speed when traveling in poor conditions. Just because weather conditions are poor does not mean that no one can be deemed at fault for a pileup accident. If a driver or trucker is driving aggressively or traveling too fast for the road conditions, they can be held accountable for the consequences.

Chain Reaction Crashes

If an accident occurs on the highway, it can create a hazard for other drivers. If other motorists aren’t able to react in time, or are not paying appropriate attention, they can collide with the disabled vehicles and set off a chain reaction involving multiple cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Rubbernecking – when drivers are distracted by trying to look at an accident scene – can also lead to subsequent crashes.

Reckless Driving

On a busy city street or highway, negligent driving behaviors can result in a multi-vehicle accident. Reckless driving behavior includes:

Speeding, especially in a congested area or work zone, can lead to a multi-vehicle accident. Vehicles traveling too fast may be unable to stop in time if traffic slows down or lanes shift, or speeding drivers may lose control of their own vehicles and create a hazard in the road, resulting in a pileup. Likewise, tailgating and aggressive driving on a city street or a busy highway is dangerous and can lead to a crash involving multiple vehicles.

Distracted driving is a major cause of motor vehicle crashes of all kinds. The most common form of distraction is mobile phone use, but distraction can include any activity that takes your attention from the road. This might be conversations with passengers or children in the rear seat, eating or drinking behind the wheel, adjusting the music or navigation system in your car, or even using hands-free bluetooth devices.

Drunk driving or driving under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs can also be extremely destructive. When drunk drivers lose control of their vehicle, multiple other drivers can get hurt.

A driver who is distracted by their phone, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or otherwise driving recklessly can cause a rear-end crash that leads to a chain reaction.

What Injuries Can I Receive in a Multi-Vehicle Accident?

attorney robert munley standing with arms crossedMulti-vehicle crashes are more destructive than the average car accident. This is due not only to the number of vehicles involved, but also the types of vehicles involved; multi-vehicle pile-ups often involve tractor trailers, tanker trucks, buses, and other large vehicles. Crash victims often suffer from multiple impacts. Pedestrians fleeing their cars can be struck by out of control vehicles. If the crash involves dozens of cars and trucks or extreme weather conditions, it can take emergency responders a long time to reach injured victims who need help.

Common types of injuries sustained in a multi-vehicle pile-up include:

Whiplash – Whiplash is a soft tissue injury of the neck and shoulders, and one of the most common types of injuries experienced in a car accident. While whiplash is not life-threatening, it can lead to long-term pain that prevents you from doing your job and living your life.

Traumatic brain injuries – Traumatic brain injuries are very common, and very serious. There are two main types of head injuries: closed and open head injuries. Closed head injuries occur when a great force – such as the impact in a motor vehicle crash – causes the brain to hit the interior of the skull. This can result in a subcranial brain bleed, concussion, and permanent brain damage. Open head injuries occur when a foreign object punctures or crushes the skull, causing damage to the brain.

Broken bones – Broken bones often occur as the result of a serious crash. Bone fractures can require expensive surgery and a long recovery period.

Spinal cord injuries and paralysis – Spinal cord injuries sustained in a car or truck crash can cause nerve damage and leave victims paralyzed for life. It is important to have a personal injury lawyer who understands the many ways a spinal cord injury can affect your life for years to come.

Other common injuries include:

  • Scarring, amputation, and disfigurement
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Internal bleeding
  • Death

What Happens if I Get Into a Multi-Vehicle Accident With a Truck?

Multi-vehicle accidents that happen on the highway often involve large trucks and tractor trailers. Naturally, crashes involving these massive vehicles are even more devastating. They can also be much more complicated.

Tractor trailers and 18-wheelers require much more time and space to come to a stop than regular passenger vehicles do. Truck drivers also face intense pressure to make deliveries on time and get back on the road as fast as possible, so they often work long hours behind the wheel and can become fatigued or distracted.  If there is an obstruction in the road or a sudden change in the flow of traffic, a drowsy, inattentive, or speeding truck driver may end up crashing into the vehicles ahead. Or, if a truck driver loses control of their rig on slippery roads and jackknifes, other vehicles may be unable to stop in time to avoid a collision.

When a tractor trailer is involved in your crash, you may need to sue the driver, the trucking company that employs the driver, or a third party broker. In cases like this, it is crucial that you have the right personal injury lawyer. While most personal injury law firms handle car crashes, not all of them have experience with multi-vehicle crashes, and only a select few have extensive experience winning tractor trailer cases.

Multi-Vehicle Accident FAQS

Q: What Should You Do If You’re in a Multi-Vehicle Pile-Up?

munley law attorneys walking down the streetIf you see a crash ahead and are able to stop in time, pull off to the shoulder or the side of the road; do not stop in a travel lane if you can avoid it. It is best to get as far from the road as possible to avoid being hit by other vehicles. If you’re involved in a multi-vehicle pile-up, don’t leave your vehicle until it is safe to do so. If you are injured or cannot exit the car safely, keep your seatbelt on and call 911.  If the scene is clear, and you are able to move, get out of your car and get as far from the scene as possible. Do not linger near your vehicle to assess the damage. Multi-car pile-ups present the risk of being hit by oncoming vehicles as well as fires and explosions that often come with pile-up crashes. In multi-vehicle accidents, multiple vehicles often end up veering onto the shoulder and surrounding area, so put as much distance between yourself and the accident scene as you can safely.

Many multi-vehicle accidents can be avoided with appropriate caution. If visibility is low, assume there is something beyond your field of vision and drive accordingly. Adjust your speed, use your hazard lights, and give other vehicles extra space.

Q: What Should I Do in the Days and Weeks Following a Multi-Vehicle Accident?

In the days and weeks after a multi-vehicle pileup, be sure to seek medical treatment for your injuries or the injuries of your passengers. Because adrenaline runs high in an event like a pileup, you may not initially realize the full extent of your injuries. Brain injuries can go undiagnosed and lead to long term damage, so it is important to be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. Be sure to keep careful records of all of your doctor visits, medical bills, and any time you have had to miss from work as a result of the crash.

While you should report the accident to your insurance company right away, you are not obligated to speak with any of the other drivers’ insurers. In fact, it is not in your best interest to do so without consulting an attorney first. If you provide a recorded statement to another party’s insurer, your statement can be used to absolve their insured of responsibility for the crash, and even to place more of the blame on you. It is best to let an attorney handle all insurance company communications on your behalf.

Even if you’re unsure whether you have grounds for a car accident lawsuit, consult a multi-vehicle crash lawyer as soon as possible. There is no charge for the initial consultation. You can have an experienced lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys review the details of your situation and advise you as to how you should proceed. If we believe you have a case, we can get to work right away to help you obtain the compensation you need.

Q: If I Was Found Partially At Fault, Can I Still Sue?

Because multiple vehicles are involved, it can be difficult to tell who is at fault. While a regular car accident will usually result in a fairly straight-forward police report identifying the at-fault party, this is not always the case in a multi car accident.  There is a possibility that you may find partially at fault for the accident. But this does not mean you cannot collect compensation for your injuries.

In Pennsylvania, modified comparative negligence is a legal concept in which negligence is assigned in accordance with the percentage of fault attributed to each party. This means that multiple parties can be found partially at fault for an accident, and your compensation may be reduced if you are found partially at fault for the crash. In Pennsylvania, if you are less than 51 percent at fault for the crash, you can still pursue damages against the other at-fault party. But, your award will be reduced according to your share of the blame.

This is another reason why it is crucial for you to have a top legal team on your side. Because Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys works on a contingent fee basis, anyone can afford to hire a top tier lawyer. We do not charge any upfront fees and we do not get paid unless we win your case.

Q: What If I Was in a Multi-Vehicle Crash and Have Limited Tort Insurance?

Insurance and tort rules vary by state. Usually, in Pennsylvania, a limited tort insurance policy makes it more difficult to obtain damages after an accident. Limited tort effectively limits your ability to sue for non-economic damages, and non-economic damages often make up the bulk of a personal injury claim. However, victims of a multi-vehicle pileup may qualify for some exceptions to the limitations imposed by limited tort. In Pennsylvania, limited tort policy holders can “breach” limited tort if their injuries are considered severe. Likewise, you may enjoy the benefits of a full tort policy if the driver who hit you was from another state. Because multi-vehicle crashes often happen on interstate highways, it is possible the driver who caused the crash was an out of state driver. The other exception is if you were hit by a drunk driver. If you’re unsure whether you qualify for any of these conditions, you can have a car accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys review the details of your case at no charge.

Q: Why Choose Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys to Handle My Multi-Vehicle Crash Case?

Attorneys Marion Munley, Caroline Munley, Robert Munley, and Chris MunleyWhen you’ve been injured in a multi-vehicle crash, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be the only way to get the compensation you need to cover your medical bills and other losses. With so many drivers involved, insurance companies will likely attempt to deflect blame and deny liability. This is where a highly skilled lawyer can help you. In complicated situations like a multi-vehicle crash, especially one that includes commercial vehicles or large trucks, you need a specific type of personal injury lawyer. To be successful, you will need a law firm with experience handling large, complex cases against multiple defendants and insurers.

Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys has been one of the leading names in personal injury law since 1959. While some law firms have a general practice, Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys focuses specifically on complex personal injury matters and cases involving commercial vehicles. Our lawyers have won numerous multimillion-dollar awards for our clients who were rear-ended on the highway or involved in major transportation accidents.

We have earned national recognition for our work on behalf of injured victims, including from Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, U.S. News and World Report, the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the National Trial Lawyers Association, and more. Our attorneys have earned top ratings from AVVO and Martindale-Hubbell, reflecting the trust of both our clients and our peers.

If you were involved in a multi-car accident and are not sure what your next steps should be, our experienced car accident lawyer is here to help. Contact the multi vehicle accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation. There is no fee unless we win your case.

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