Steps to Take After a Multi-Vehicle Crash
Multi-vehicle crashes can be some of the most catastrophic and devastating accidents on the road. They can occur for many reasons, including distracted driving, speeding, and inclement weather. It is crucial for drivers to remain alert and focused while behind the wheel to help prevent these dangerous accidents from occurring.
If you’re involved in a multi-vehicle crash, contact the car accident lawyers at Cofman Townsley. We will investigate the incident to determine who was at fault and help you get compensation for your injuries.
Multi-vehicle accidents, also known as pile-ups, can occur in different locations on the road, including highways, intersections, and busy city streets. Examples of multi-vehicle accidents include:
- Chain reaction collisions: These occur when three or more vehicles hit one another in a series of rear-end accidents caused primarily by the force of the first collision. For example, if car A hits car B from behind, and the impact causes car B to hit car C in front of it, that’s a chain reaction collision.
- Intersection accidents: Intersections are common sites for multi-vehicle accidents, especially in cases where an initial collision sends one or more vehicles into the paths of others.
- Highway pile-ups: Highway pileups can involve dozens of vehicles and are often caused by poor visibility conditions like fog, rain, or snow. These are some of the most dangerous multi-vehicle accidents because of the high speeds involved and the number of vehicles that can become part of the pile-up.
- Cross-traffic accidents: These collisions happen when a vehicle is hit by another car from a different direction. If the initial impact sends the vehicle into the path of other traffic, it can result in a multi-vehicle accident.
If you suffer damages in a pile-up accident, you can seek compensation from the driver or drivers responsible under Missouri’s pure comparative fault doctrine. Taking the following steps can help you protect your rights and ensure you receive a fair settlement from the negligent parties:
- Contact 911
If you or anyone else is injured, calling 911 will help you get the medical attention you need as quickly as possible. 911 will typically dispatch emergency medical technicians and law enforcement to the scene. Emergency medical responders can provide critical medical care to those injured, while the police will investigate the accident and create a factual report regarding the incident. You can request a copy of this report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol for your insurance claim.
- Receive Medical Attention
Medical attention after a multi-vehicle crash is critical, even if you feel fine or believe your injuries are minor. Injuries such as traumatic brain injuries or whiplash may not show symptoms until hours or days after the accident. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible ensures you receive proper treatment and document your injuries, which can support your compensation claim.
- Take Pictures or Video of the Scene
Taking pictures or video of the scene after a multi-vehicle crash can be crucial when filing an insurance claim. These visual records can help document the extent of property damage, injuries, and the accident’s circumstances.
When taking pictures or video of the scene, capture the following:
- Damage to all vehicles involved in the accident, including the position of the vehicles and any debris on the road
- Street signs, landmarks, and anything else that can help identify the location of the accident
- Visible injuries, such as cuts, bruises, or swelling
- Weather and road conditions at the time of the accident, if they were a factor
- Take pictures or video of anything else that may be relevant to the accident, such as skid marks, traffic signals, or nearby construction
- Collect Witness Statements
Witnesses who saw the accident can provide a valuable perspective on what occurred and offer insights into factors not immediately apparent to those involved.
When collecting witness statements, ask for the witness’ name, phone number, and address. Ask them to describe what they saw, where they were during the accident, and other relevant details. Videotape or voice record their statement if possible, and ask if your lawyer can contact them in the future for their testimony.
- Get Contact and Insurance Information of Involved Drivers
When filing an insurance claim for a settlement, you must have a driver’s contact and insurance information. Collecting this information from every driver involved in the multi-car crash is critical to receiving compensation for your damages.
After the incident, collect information from any driver involved in the collision: exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, and license plate numbers. Also, ask for their insurance agent’s insurance company name, policy number, and contact information.
- Cooperate With the Police Investigation
When the police arrive at the scene, provide them with accurate and detailed information about what happened, including the location of the accident, the number of vehicles involved, and any injuries sustained.
While you should provide an objective statement based on the officer’s questions, avoid speculating on fault or making any statements that could be used against you. For example, don’t tell the police officer you are sorry or you feel fine. If they include this in the report, the other drivers’ insurance companies could use these statements to reduce or deny your claim.
- Speak With a Car Accident Attorney
Contact a skilled attorney as soon as possible after a multi-car accident. The lawyers at Cofman Townsley can help you understand your legal rights and guide you through the claims process. We will thoroughly investigate the crash and work with accident reconstruction experts to accurately determine which driver or drivers are at fault.
Once we help you file your claim, we will negotiate with insurance companies for a maximum settlement for your injuries. If they refuse to pay, our team will represent you in litigation if necessary.
If you have been injured in an accident involving multiple vehicles, contact Cofman Townsley today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.
Our experienced car accident attorneys have a proven track record of resolving complex personal injury claims like those in multi-vehicle pile-ups. We will protect your rights and help get you the compensation you deserve.