Who is at fault in a multi-car pile-up?

It can be fairly easy to deal with an accident only involving two cars. However, with multi-car pile-ups, one accident leads to several other accidents, adding complexity to the situation.

With so many cars, insurance policies and testimonies involved, it can be difficult for police to get the true scope of the situation. Those involved in the pile-up may have a tough time combatting claims and getting the compensation they might need.

Establishing fault

Police will attempt to determine the initial cause of the pile-up. In some cases, it could just be one driver’s negligence. However, multiple drivers could end up sharing faults. For example, the person who initiated the pile-up could face the bulk of the fault but the police could implicate other drivers who should have been following at safer braking distances. Establishing fault at different stages of the pile-up is what makes multi-car collisions so complex.

Policy limits

One at-fault driver could have many claims to deal with at once, and those claims can quickly go beyond their policy limits. In Missouri, drivers must carry the minimum insurance requirements, which include $50,000 for total bodily injuries per accident and $25,000 for total property damage per accident. A substantial pile-up can quickly surpass those limits, making the at-fault driver personally liable.

Preventative insurance

Damages can be far more extensive in multi-car pile-ups than in two-car accidents. Having the right coverage can help cover medical expenses, lost wages and property damage. These insurances include personal injury protection, medical payments coverage and collision coverage. Missouri also requires drivers to hold uninsured motorist coverage just in case the at-fault driver drove illegally.

Having the right coverages in place and understanding the complexities of a multi-car pile-up can help you intelligently navigate the situation.