Despite decades of effort, auto accidents remain a substantial problem in America. The National Safety Council reports the highest spike in deaths on the road in 96 years happened in 2020. Furthermore, there were over 4.8 million serious injuries.
Multi-car accidents can be remarkably more dangerous than others. Also, they are among the most burdensome to shepherd through the civil court system. It takes highly competent and enthusiastic legal counsel to come out the other side with what you deserve.
However, if you do not act fast in the moments after the accident, there is not much any firm can do for you. After you read this guide, you will know how to protect yourself and others during this highly stressful situation.
Immediate Action: What Should You Do Immediately After a Multi-Car Accident?
The actions that follow a multi-car accident could not be more crucial. But it can also be easy to forget them in the heat of the moment. As a result, consider bookmarking this page to reference it when you need it the most.
Check for Injuries
Ensuring the safety and well-being of all parties involved comes first. Even seemingly minor injuries, such as cuts or bruises, can lead to severe conditions if left untreated. If someone is severely injured, call 911 immediately and avoid moving them unless necessary to prevent further harm.
Move to a Safe Location
If your vehicle still functions, get it away from traffic or obstructions. This is one of the first things you should do immediately after a multi-car accident? Move it to a safe location to reduce the chances of further accidents or injuries. Traffic congestion or blocked views can be significant hazards. Moreover, taking this action will allow the police to investigate and collect evidence easier.
However, if there is severe damage, it is better to remain until the arrival of emergency services or police officers. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of the situation, and stay put.
Call the Police
Call the police after a car accident, regardless of how minor it may appear. They will create a report and document the accident. These details can be helpful for insurance companies and legal representatives to determine fault and damages. Furthermore, officers can assist in directing traffic or providing aid in case of injuries.
When calling the police, prepare to provide essential details. They need to know the accident’s location, the number of people involved, and any information about injuries or damages. If they ask, politely refuse to discuss fault under any circumstances.
Exchange Information with the Other Drivers
Exchanging information with other drivers in a multi-car accident can be intimidating, but it is necessary. In fact this is a critical step in what you should do immediately after a multi-car accident.
This is the first step toward insurance companies identifying who is at fault and the extent of the damages. The information should include the following:
- Contact information
- Insurance companies and policy numbers
- Details about the other vehicles, including the make, model, license plate number, and registration.
It is also important to gather witness contact information if possible. During the exchange, remain calm and polite. Avoid arguments or blaming others. It is massively beneficial to be fair-minded while others say things they shouldn’t.
Take Pictures and Video
Taking pictures after a car accident is essential to providing evidence. When taking images or videos, capture all details possible. Start by taking wide-angle shots of the scene, including all the vehicles involved and any damage to surrounding objects. Using your phone is fine, its probably the easiest tool for the job. However, be cautious about privacy rights and limitations.
Then, take close-up shots of the vehicles, focusing on any dents, scratches, or broken parts. It is also vital to capture any skid marks, debris, or road conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
When taking pictures of injuries, ensure you have the victim’s consent and avoid intrusive or graphic images. Use a high-quality camera or smartphone from various angles. Add timestamps to the pictures that indicate the date, time, and location.
Find Medical Care
Some injuries may not be visible and could worsen if left untreated. The first step is to evaluate yourself and other accident victims. Look for cuts, bruises, or pain. For severe injuries, it’s necessary to call 911 immediately and wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive.
Even if you feel well after the accident, schedule a medical check-up. This is a must, and what you should do immediately after a multi-car accident. If you experience any pain or lingering headaches, inform your healthcare provider of all the details. Acting promptly after a car accident can prevent further complications and promote a speedy recovery.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance about the accident as soon as possible, even if you have no plans to file a claim. Your carrier will most likely request a police report, so ask for one beforehand. But it is noteworthy that keeping track of all documentation is critical.
The insurance company will provide instructions for your claim, such as scheduling an appraiser to assess the damage. They will also recommend local repair shops. If you have injuries, your insurance company can assist you with getting reimbursed for treatment.
What Challenges Do You Face After a Multi-Car Accident?
There is more work after the dust literally and metaphorically settles from the accident. Moreover, multi-car accidents can create unique concerns in the weeks, months, or even years afterward.
Many drivers who read this article will believe they did nothing wrong. Perhaps you got rear-ended or sideswiped due to a blatant violation of the law by another party. Nonetheless, comparative negligence laws in your state can mean the courts will beg to differ.
Chain-reaction accidents can be more complicated due to the involvement of multiple parties. As a result, the legal treatment of multi-car accidents is often different from that of individual ones. Here are some ways that the law may treat multi-car accidents differently:
- Determining Fault: This task can be more challenging because multiple drivers have contributed to the accident. In such cases, the law may apportion damages among the parties involved.
- Liability: A driver may be solely responsible for the accident. But liability likely splits among multiple parties.
- Insurance Coverage: Multi-car accidents can also raise questions about policy coverage. Insurance companies may not offer sufficient to cover the damages and injuries resulting from the accident.
Thankfully, there are well-known strategies your car accident lawyer can utilize. But their efforts may depend on constructing arguments based on independent investigations. While the average individual does not have the resources to make this happen, a local law firm can use its resources to your benefit.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney Today
Since multiple parties will look for attention, you do not want to get lost in the noise. Schedule a consultation with legal counsel to get the attention you deserve.