Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Gilbert Adams Law Offices
Since 1930 - Free Consultation 409-835-3000

How Is Fault Determined in a Multi-Car Crash?

car crash accident on street, damaged automobiles after collision in city .

In the aftermath of a multi-car crash, determining fault or responsibility can become a complex puzzle that involves piecing together large amounts of evidence, including accident reconstruction and eyewitness accounts, and applying relevant laws that speak to liability when multiple parties are involved. This is especially true when the insurance companies blame other drivers, in an effort to reduce the amount of the settlement or deny the claim altogether. See below for a discussion about how these complicated situations affect an injury victim’s claim for compensation. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a multi-car crash in Houston, Galveston, or throughout Texas, contact Gilbert Adams Law Offices in Beaumont to speak with an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer.

The Role of Texas Law in Multi-Car Crash Fault Determination

Under Texas law, if multiple parties are liable for causing a crash, each party can be held responsible for their proportionate share of the damages based on their percentage of responsibility in contributing to causing the collision. However, an exception exists when an at-fault party can be held responsible for all of the damages if they are found to be more than 50% at fault in contributing to causing the collision. When multiple vehicles are involved in a crash, determining who was at fault and to what extent can be critical to recovering the maximum amount of compensation recoverable under Texas law.

Another crucial factor in determining the amount of recoverable damages is based in part on whether the injured victim is found to be negligent which was a contributing cause of the collision. Insurance companies and their lawyers most always argue that the injured victim was negligent in causing the collision. Texas follows a “modified comparative fault” rule, which means that the amount of compensation the injured party can receive is reduced by your percentage of negligence, if any, in causing the collision. This is also sometimes called “contributory negligence.” Our lawyers know what’s coming in this regard and the typical arguments that will be used against you. These concepts emphasize the importance of an early and thorough investigation of the cause or causes of a collision in a multi-car crash to maximize your recovery.

Investigating a Multi-Car Crash

The process of determining fault in a multi-car accident involves several steps:

1. Electronic Crash Data, GPS and Dash Cameras

For automobiles manufactured after 2014, vehicles are often equipped with computer modules that record important information including speed, whether brakes were engaged, RPMs and steering inputs. Additionally, many commercial vehicles are equipped with GPS devices which can detect speeds and are instantly uploaded following a collision. Finally, Dashcams can be of enormous benefit to determining and apportioning responsibility in a multi-vehicle collision.

2. Police Reports

The first piece of evidence in the fault determination process is often the police report. Law enforcement officers responding to the scene will document their observations, collect statements from drivers and witnesses, and assess any traffic violations that may have contributed to the crash. While the police report is generally influential, it is not the final word on comparative negligence, and there can be important matters the investigating officer did not consider or have access to, including electronic crash data, GPS and Dashcam video. Besides, law enforcement is typically evaluating traffic law infractions, which is different than the legal standard of negligence used in the civil arena.

2. Eyewitness Testimony

Eyewitness accounts can provide valuable insights into how the collision occurred. Witnesses may have observed critical details that the drivers involved did not see. Their testimonies can help reconstruct the sequence of events leading up to the crash.

3. Photographic and Video Evidence

Photos and videos from the accident scene, including those taken by surveillance cameras, dashcams, or smartphones, can be instrumental in determining fault. This evidence can show the positions of vehicles, traffic signals, road conditions, and the impact points on the cars.

4. Accident Reconstruction Experts

In complex cases, accident reconstruction experts may be brought in to analyze the evidence and recreate the scene. These experts use scientific methods to understand the dynamics of the crash, which can help determine fault more accurately.

5. State Traffic Laws

Understanding Texas traffic laws is vital for determining fault. Actions such as speeding, failing to yield, or running a red light are clear violations of traffic laws and can significantly impact the determination of the cause or causes of collision, including absolving you of responsibility.

The Importance of Legal Assistance

Navigating the complexities of a multi-car crash requires legal expertise, especially in cases where multiple parties may share fault. An experienced personal injury attorney can help in several ways:

  • Preserving, Gathering and Analyzing Evidence: Lawyers have the resources and expertise to require that evidence be preserved so that it can be collected and analyzed to build a strong case in your favor.

  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Attorneys are skilled in negotiating with insurance companies, who often seek to minimize their payouts by disputing fault or downplaying injuries.

  • Representing Your Interests in Court: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, a skilled attorney will represent you in court, advocating for your right to fair compensation.

Get Effective Legal Help After a Multi-Car Crash in Texas

At Gilbert Adams Law Offices, we understand the challenges faced by victims of multi-car accidents in Houston, Galveston, and across Texas. Our Beaumont personal injury law firm is committed to providing personalized, effective legal representation to help you navigate the legal process and secure the compensation you deserve. If you or a family member were injured in a car or truck crash in Texas, get the help you need by calling Gilbert Adams Law Offices in Beaumont at 409-835-3000 for a free consultation.

© 2017 - 2024 Gilbert Adams Law Offices. All rights reserved.
Custom WebShop™ law firm website design by NextClient.com.