Multiple Impact or Pile-up Car Accidents
Multiple impact car accidents involve crashes that have more than one impact. The most common type of multiple impact car accident is a “pile-up” accident. These accidents get their name from the piling up of vehicles following the initial crash. In pile-up accidents there are multiple impacts that can cause vehicle damage and resulting injuries.
Pile-up car accidents often happen on freeways or roadways where people are traveling at moderate to high rates of speed. Once the initial collision occurs, the vehicles that are following may be unable to slow down in time to avoid the first crash. As a result, a second, third or even fourth impact may occur. The other impacts are usually caused by the vehicles following in the same lane of traffic directly behind the vehicles involved in the initial crash.
However, a multiple impact car accident is not always a pile-up car accident as described above. Another common scenario is when the initial impact causes a vehicle to change direction or pushes it into the path of other vehicles. In this situation, there may be a second impact with an object on the roadway or another vehicle. In these situations, the initial crash does not result in a classic pile-up but still has multiple impacts. Here are a few examples:
- A car accident where the impacted vehicle is the first car waiting at a red light. The impacted vehicle is struck from behind by a driver that fails to stop. The striking vehicle pushes the impacted vehicle forward into the intersection where it is struck again by another vehicle that had the right of way.
- A car accident where two vehicles are traveling in adjacent lanes in the same direction. The striking vehicle changes lanes when it is not safe to do so and collides with the side of the impacted vehicle. This collision pushes the impacted vehicle into oncoming traffic or causes the impacted vehicle to lose control. The impacted vehicle then collides with vehicles traveling in the opposite direction on the other side of the roadway.
- A car accident where the impacted vehicle is struck from behind and pushed into an adjacent lane of traffic where it is struck from behind a second time by another driver traveling in the adjacent lane.
- A car accident where the impacted vehicle is traveling straight through an intersection. The striking vehicle makes an improper turn causing a collision with the impacted vehicle. The impacted vehicle then makes a second collision with another vehicle or object on the roadway.
In a typical “pile-up” car accident the additional impacts are usually caused by drivers who are: 1) traveling too fast for conditions; 2) traveling too close to the vehicles in front of them; 3) not paying attention (and unable to brake in time); or 4) a combination of all three. Unlike a pile-up car accident, the multiple impact car accident examples given above can involve drivers who are the striking vehicle in the second or third impact that did nothing wrong.
Pile-up and multiple impact car accidents are especially dangerous because there is more than one collision to cause injuries and trauma. While you may be able to tolerate one collision without a significant injury, a second or third violent impact may be more than your body can bear. The multiple impacts can have a cumulative effect causing serious and debilitating injuries.
In almost every pile-up or multiple impact car accident there is a dispute as to which impact caused the harm and injuries. Since these impacts usually involve multiple drivers with different insurance carriers, each driver’s insurance company is likely to place blame on the other. As a result, these cases can be difficult to resolve as the drivers and their insurance carriers argue between themselves as to how much of the injuries they caused and how much they are responsible for.
The good news is, that with multiple impact car accidents may come multiple insurance policies from which you or your loved ones can recover. Instead of being limited to one insurance policy with a limited amount of coverage, you now have the opportunity to look to additional insurance policies. These additional insurance policies will increase the total amount of coverage and also offer a better chance of having a higher policy limit that will adequately cover the injuries you sustained.
Unlike single impact car accidents, a multiple impact or pile-up accident presents unique issues with respect to insurance coverage. These accidents also present challenging situations when it comes to allocating fault to each of the drivers involved and how much each should pay. As a result, it is important that you have a skilled attorney to assist you in this situation.
If you or a loved one was involved in a pile-up or multiple impact car accident, contact one of our Scottsdale car accident attorneys today. Our personal injury attorneys have successfully represented clients that have been harmed in these accidents throughout Scottsdale and the surrounding areas. Our attorneys are available now to discuss your case at no charge.