A car crash can be a catastrophic event in anyone’s life. Add in multiple vehicles, such as cars, trucks, and even motorcyclists, and the injuries and damage are multiplied many times over. It becomes important to understand who is to blame and how you can receive adequate compensation for your trauma and property loss.
An experienced Tulsa multi-vehicle accident attorney can investigate your case and negotiate with all other parties involved. The law offices of Graves McLain Injury Lawyers are ready to evaluate your situation and discuss all the available options.
On busy highways, multiple car accidents occur frequently because so many vehicles are on the road. But even in downtown Tulsa or a suburban area, an intersection can suddenly be filled with cars, trucks, and other vehicles colliding into one another.
Many factors may contribute to multi-vehicle accidents, either alone or in combination to increase liability and damage. These factors include:
For example, if a ladder or mattress falls off a vehicle on the interstate, it becomes an obstruction to traffic. Drivers who may be fatigued, distracted, or under the influence now face an unexpected hazard on the road. Some drivers might change lanes or swerve to avoid crashing, involving other vehicles. If a large commercial truck becomes involved, the situation can quickly become disastrous. Motorcyclists face even higher risks than drivers in passenger vehicles, and a bicyclist often fares the worst of all.
On a highway with many fast-moving vehicles, the opposing lanes of travel can even become involved. It all adds up to injuries and property damage to a large number of individuals, which takes time and expertise to untangle. The complexities of the laws and determining fault are best handled by a multi-accident lawyer with years of experience litigating settlements and court cases.
No matter how many vehicles are involved, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible as soon as you can after a crash. This may include photos or video footage from the area, reports from emergency responders, and witness depositions. While this must be done quickly, some evidence of injuries may not appear until days after a crash. If there are fatalities, a person may not die until several weeks afterwards.
This could introduce the need for a wrongful death suit.
If you have been involved in a multiple-vehicle collision, here are some recommended steps you should take:
In the days and weeks after a crash, it can be especially stressful for you and your loved ones to sort out medical appointments and vehicle repairs. On top of that, you may choose to pursue compensation from those responsible while recovering from your injuries. An experienced Tulsa multi-vehicle accident attorney can make this easier for you.
Even when the cause of an accident seems clear, it can become complicated as soon as insurance companies are involved. They employ accident investigators whose primary job is to reduce the amount of compensation paid by the insurance company. They are in the business of making money and will do everything possible to deny or minimize what you receive. They may even try to prove that you played a part in causing the accident.
If someone else causes a multi-car pileup, their insurance coverage may be responsible for covering your medical bills, automobile damage, and emotional distress. You may even be able to pursue lost wages and further compensation if you suffer a debilitating injury.
However, other drivers’ insurance companies will make very low settlement offers to keep from affecting their losses.
Because you may be eligible for compensation from multiple sources, including separate personal injury lawsuits, it can be easy to overlook important avenues for investigation when you are recovering. A highly competent multi-vehicle accident lawyer is integral to creating the strongest case for a settlement or jury trial.
When many vehicles are involved in a crash, there may be many people at fault. Likewise, many individuals will be seeking compensation for their injuries. This makes deciding the amount of responsibility for each party very difficult.
Drivers, passengers, cyclists, pedestrians, or road crews could all be involved in a chain-reaction accident. Every person who suffers injuries or property damage will likely seek legal counsel to understand who is liable. They also will work to calculate what compensation they deserve.
While each party is able to argue claims regarding fault, Oklahoma Statute Title 23, section 14, describes the use of comparative fault in deciding compensation. If it is determined that a party bears 50% or more of the responsibility for the accident, they will receive no damages paid.
For liability of less than 50%, a party will have their damages reduced by that same percentage.
Establishing fault in a multiple-vehicle accident depends on the amount and nature of the evidence that is gathered. The more evidence you can produce and the higher quality it is, the stronger your claim or argument will be.
Desirable sources of evidence include:
Every crash situation is unique, but there are common paths for reimbursement, such as insurance coverage (yours or other drivers’). Possible sources may include:
It is standard to seek compensation for medical treatment, automobile repair or replacement, property damage, lost wages, loss of income potential, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. As a general rule, attorneys will seek damages of about three times your medical expenses. For car repair or replacement, compensation is generally equal to what the automotive policy covers.
Beyond these economic expenses, things such as pain and suffering and mental anguish fall into the category of non-economic losses and can vary widely.
No matter how many parties are involved, navigating the complicated process of receiving compensation is especially difficult if you suffered injuries. Having an experienced Tulsa multiple-vehicle accident lawyer will make it easier to pursue your settlement or claim while you recover.
In most cases, the deadlines for filing claims in multi-vehicle accidents are very short. Oklahoma Statutes title 12, section 1053 establishes a two-year window for filing a lawsuit, meaning you must initiate legal proceedings within two years of the date of the crash. If the crash involves a fatality, such as you or your loved one dying, then the family must file within two years of the date of death.
It is critical to gather quality evidence as soon as possible after an accident and negotiate with insurance companies for your claims. Any documentation available can be used to support your case and give weight to your request for damages.
This can be a time-consuming and confusing process, and it is best to engage the services of a skilled legal team.
To ensure the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses, you should act quickly to hire the most experienced multi-vehicle accident lawyer you can find. At Graves McLain Injury Lawyers, we offer free consultations and the most dependable guidance in the Tulsa area. Contact us today either online or by phone at 918-359-6600.
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