When multiple vehicles are involved in an accident, determining who was at fault can be challenging.
Because of the complexity of Indiana’s motor vehicle accident laws, insurance companies will do everything they can to dispute who was at fault. If they can reduce the value of any claims, they benefit from lower payouts. When multiple drivers are involved, it is much easier for them to point the finger.
Who Can Be Found at Fault?
After a multiple-car accident, one or more drivers may be held responsible.
One driver, often referred to as the initiating driver, may have caused the accident solely through negligence, recklessness, or distracted driving. Even if multiple cars were involved, sometimes it is clear that there was a single driver who initiated the accident.
Other times, multiple drivers may be at fault. In these situations, the fault is divided among the drivers who made wrong decisions while behind the wheel.
That doesn’t mean that all drivers in the accident were at fault. Sometimes, two or more were at fault, even though another driver was not.
Indiana follows pure several liability in cases of multi-victim accidents such as multi-vehicle car crashes. This means that the defendant is only responsible for paying for damages equal to their percentage of fault in the accident. For example, if evidence proves that a driver was 80% responsible for an accident, then that individual would be responsible for paying 80% of any damages. This practice also indicates that the plaintiff must provide evidence proving who was at fault.
How to Determine Liability
These are a few of the ways that insurers and the courts can determine who was responsible for a multiple-car collision.
Reviewing the Police Report
Getting a police report is important even in minor accidents. In accidents that involve multiple drivers, a police report is essential. It is the first significant document that examines what happened from a neutral, third-party perspective.
This report will describe what happened, when it happened, what kinds of injuries the drivers and passengers suffered, and more. If the police officers on the scene can tell who was at fault, the report will state what they have observed.
During legal proceedings, your version of events must line up with the facts outlined in the police report. Even if the police report doesn’t identify who was at fault, you can demonstrate your honesty and accuracy by aligning your account with the police report. Additionally, if you and another driver have different memories of what happened, the police report provides a neutral view.
Use Photos & Videos
Dashcams, private security cameras, public surveillance cameras, and even photos from nearby eyewitnesses can provide additional insight into what happened.
Your lawyer will be able to piece together the events of the accident by reviewing these documents. In a courtroom, these images and videos are compelling evidence to support your version of the events.
Your lawyer can interview eyewitnesses who were on the scene. This can be valuable evidence because it can prove which driver is telling the most accurate story about what happened before, during, and after the accident.
Utilize Additional Evidence
A car accident attorney can help you identify other sources of evidence. For example, you may need to subpoena the cell phone data of the other driver or drivers to determine if they were distracted by texting.
If you were in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you may need to access the stored data from the company that owns the vehicle.
What to Do After a Multiple-Vehicle Car Accident
After an accident, you have options.
When you file a claim against one or more insurance companies, representatives from those companies will begin to investigate what happened. They will find as much information as possible to determine who caused the accident. In addition to proving driver responsibility, investigators will consider the weather and certain road conditions.
Of course, the goal of the insurance company is to limit their payouts. That means that if it is at all possible, they will interpret events in a way that points to someone other than their client as the person at fault.
This is one of the reasons to speak with a qualified, experienced car accident attorney.
The Flores Law Group Can Help Indianapolis Drivers with Their Claims
Drivers in Indianapolis can turn to the Flores Law Group for help. We support Hoosiers who have been injured in accidents, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and DUI accidents.
In the days, weeks, and months after your accident, you deserve your rights to be protected.
- To be fully informed of your rights and options.
- To have access to an attorney.
- To receive compensation from the person who caused your injuries.
- To move forward after your injury.
All of the attorneys at the Flores Law Group care about the people in Indiana suffering after an accident. Reach out to us so that we can explain your legal options, organize your legal paperwork, help you meet deadlines, review your medical bills to help ensure that they can get paid, demand proper compensation for your pain and suffering, and negotiate on your behalf for a settlement that keeps you out of court.
Were You Injured in a Multiple-Vehicle Accident?
Is someone responsible for the injuries you have suffered because of the accident? Seek representation from the top personal injury team in Indianapolis.
Contact the Flores Law Group at 317-900-2556 for a free, no-obligation consultation to review your case today.