Multi-car pileups can result in serious injuries and deaths. Accidents, such as the 50-vehicle crash, on the Ohio Turnpike, can also leave injured people wondering who will pay for their damages.
Determining fault in a multi-car accident can be a complex process.
Usually, more than one person is at-fault
In a multi-car accident, more than one driver may share fault for your damages. In Ohio, you can recover damages caused by a negligent driver only if you are less than 50% at fault for the accident.
The nature of the accident can affect how difficult it is to determine who is at fault. Multi-car accidents may involve a mixture of collision types, such as a sideswipe accident caused by an improper lane change, followed by multiple rear-end collisions caused by drivers attempting to stop to avoid the wreckage.
How insurance companies determine fault
The insurance company will determine fault by examining the evidence, such as the police report, photographs of the damaged vehicles and witness accounts of the chain of events. Generally, the driver who caused the initial accident that led to the chain reaction will be partially at fault for the damages that happen in the rest of the pileup. However, because drivers have a duty to follow at a safe distance and speed, drivers who crash into other vehicles behind the initial accident may also share the blame.
Because fault can be difficult to sort out in a huge pileup, these types of claims may take longer to settle than a typical two-party accident.