If you are in an accident involving several cars you may have many questions about who is at fault, whose insurance you should report to, and what exactly your rights are. What if there was a multiple-car pile-up on the highway? What if someone was hit and their car was pushed into yours? Who is responsible for your injuries or property damage?
Car accidents can be complicated, but there are a few things to keep in mind for every accident:
- Document the accident scene, damage, and injuries of anyone using the camera in your phone. These pictures will become invaluable no matter whose insurance you end up filing with.
- Call the police and file an official report. Many insurance companies will require this to process a claim, and the police will document a full and thorough record of the events. The police will also make sure to get the insurance information for all parties involved and can help you if you end up misplacing someone’s information, or need to file claims against multiple drivers.
- Seek medical attention immediately. Do not worry about payment or wait to speak with an insurance representative. You may be able to use your health insurance or car insurance to cover the cost of your injuries, but either way get treatment for your personal injury right away.
- Contact a personal injury and car accident attorney to discuss your options, rights, and responsibilities. An experienced attorney can help guide you through the process and coordinate multiple claims if need be.
Car accidents involving multiple vehicles can be especially tricky. On top of the regular concerns with vehicle collisions, there can be a question of ultimate responsibility, and insurance disputes can result.
For example, if you’re sitting at a red light and another driver rear-ends you, you may have a claim against that driver. But then what if a third driver rear-ends the driver behind you, causing their car to impact your car a second time? You may then have a claim against the driver directly behind you who impacted you once, and a claim against the driver behind them who caused them to impact you a second time. What if the driver who rear-ends you causes you to impact the car in front of you – can the driver in front of you place a claim against you, or should the claim for both you and the person in front of you be against the person who rear-ended you?
These kinds of examples show some of the reasons why consulting with an attorney may be the best option. If you can, speak with an attorney before speaking with the insurance company. Insurance companies will have experienced attorneys fighting on their side, and you don’t want to be left responsible for the damages or injuries that are ultimately someone else’s fault.