Whenever you drive your car, you are facing risk. You depend on everyone in the vehicles around you to be alert and attentive. When one of them makes a mistake, they endanger the people in the cars around them.
All it takes is one person to suddenly break or to look away from the road to cause a collision. That single mistake could cause a chain reaction when multi-vehicles are involved. Multi-vehicle accidents involve many drivers. That can make determining liability difficult.
If you or a loved one was in a multi-vehicle accident, you must understand your rights and how to hold the responsible driver liable. That can be tricky because of the number of people and vehicles involved.
Assessing liability gets complicated
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded over 36,000 fatal accidents in 2019. Each accident is unique, with different details. The police will examine the details.
Sometimes liability is obvious. It could depend on eyewitness statements or evidence. Those eyewitness accounts can be complicated too. People do not always observe the same things, especially in spur-of-the-moment incidents.
A reasonable degree of care
Drivers can assume everyone around them is assuming a reasonable degree of care.
Common causes of liability include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Reckless driving
Ohio is a comparative fault state
In a multi-vehicle accident, it is not unusual to have more than one person who is liable. If a person is 49 percent or less responsible, they can recover damages. When someone does not exercise a reasonable degree of care, they can be liable.