“Extreme” delays were seen on eastbound I-20 in early February after a thirteen-vehicle crash occurred. In some areas, traffic was gridlocked for more than 10 miles, coming to a total standstill before Lee Road. The multi-car collision occurred during the early morning hours; the morning commute then added significantly to the traffic congestion. By about 8:15 a.m., Atlanta police said the wreckage had been cleared from the interstate and all lanes reopened. The multi-vehicle crash occurred when two large commercial semi-trucks and eleven other vehicles were involved in a chain-reaction collision. Police believe one of the tractor-trailers was unable to stop in time, rear-ending another vehicle at about 5:37 in the morning.
Four people were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, while wrecker services attempted to remove all thirteen disabled vehicles as well as the widely-scattered wreckage. One of the big rigs was on the left of I-20, while the other was hanging off the side of the freeway. The commutes from Fulton, Cobb, Douglas and Carroll counties were impacted prior to the re-opening of the interstate, with some drivers reporting commutes lasting more than two hours.
Which Driver is At Fault in a Multi-Car Collision?
When a multi-vehicle accident occurs, it is typically the result of one driver at the front of the “chain” being unable to stop quickly enough, then cars behind the first one rear-ending the vehicle in front of them. While this type of accident can be the result of a single driver’s negligence, more often, such an accident involves the carelessness of many drivers. Because there may be injuries to multiple drivers, it can be difficult to sort out who is at fault and litigating such an accident can be especially challenging. Further, when a chain-reaction multiple-car accident occurs on a busy freeway, it can be difficult, even dangerous, to attempt to exchange driver information and photograph the scene of the accident.
Determining which driver is at fault can be also be problematic. In cases where a driver admits to driver distraction and the first to rear-end the car in front of them, then that driver could potentially be assigned 100 percent of the liability. It would be rare, however, for a driver to admit distraction, plus there could be other issues at hand—inclement weather, aggressive driving on the part of another driver or even impaired driving.
This means that while the person who rear-ends another is usually considered to be at-fault, in a multi-car accident, that fault can be much more difficult to assign. As an example, suppose Driver B is driving in a safe manner when Driver A slams on his or her brakes. Let’s go further, and say that Driver A’s brake lights are out, and Driver C is clearly driving too fast while tailgating Driver B. As you can see, Driver B may actually have not been at fault in this accident. A jury may need to consider all evidence and assign fault to each defendant—and possibly the plaintiff as well. Because multi-car accidents can be so complex, it is essential that you contact an experienced Florida personal injury attorney if you are involved in this type of accident.
Contact Our Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys Today
At Schnipper Law, P.C., our Atlanta car accident attorneys know that multi-car accidents require extensive investigation and legal representation from the start. That’s why we work aggressively from the start to obtain the maximum compensation for all our clients. Call Schnipper Law P.C., at (404) 545-5845 for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We can help you recover the money you need to put your life back together after a serious accident.