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The Dangers of Multi-Vehicle Collisions

January 10, 2017

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

The severity of a car crash victim’s injuries depends on a number of factors, including how fast the cars were traveling prior to the accident, the number and type of cars involved, and his or her general health. There are some types of car accidents though, including multi-vehicle crashes, which are notorious for being especially dangerous and often deadly. The injuries sustained in these kinds of crashes are almost always serious and are expensive to treat, so if you were recently injured in a car crash in Philadelphia, it is critical to retain an experienced personal injury lawyer who can protect your interests and help you seek compensation for your medical expenses.

Common Injuries

Multi-car pile-ups are usually caused by at least one driver’s negligence. For example, if a driver was speeding and hit a patch of ice which caused him or her to collide with a guardrail, the car in the rear should have been following at an appropriate distance to have time to avoid the crash. However, if that individual was texting and did not see the car until it was too late, his or her negligence could result in a collision with the first vehicle. This could then set off a chain reaction involving multiple cars and victims. Because multi-car pile-ups involve so many vehicles and multiple collisions, the injuries sustained by those involved tend to be especially severe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as many as 40 percent of traffic-related injuries and deaths occur in multi-car collisions.

This is in large part due to the increased amount of broken glass, leaking gasoline, and steel that are present at the scenes of these types of accident, all of which can be extremely dangerous. Leaking gasoline in particular can cause serious car fires that emergency responders may have difficulty putting out due to the blocked roads resulting from the crash. As a result of these factors, victims of multi-car crashes are more likely to sustain the following types of serious injuries:

  • Amputations;
  • Broken and crushed bones;
  • Burns;
  • Cardiac arrest;
  • Internal bleeding;
  • Lacerations;
  • Organ damage;
  • Spinal cord damage; and
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Treating catastrophic injuries can quickly drive a family into debt, making it especially important for those who were the victims of another driver’s negligence to seek compensation for their losses.

Potential Liability

It can be very difficult to assign responsibility in multi-car pile-up situations because so many drivers are involved, more than one of whom may have been negligent. For this reason, a team of investigators will usually be required to help determine which parties were at fault in causing a plaintiff’s injuries by taking a series of steps, including:

  • Examining and photographing the damaged vehicles;
  • Measuring skid marks left by the vehicles and attempting to identify points of impact;
  • Reconstructing the crash;
  • Reviewing the police report and speaking with the responding police officers; and
  • Obtaining statements from drivers, passengers, and witnesses.

Collecting this evidence can significantly strengthen a plaintiff’s case and allow him or her to obtain compensation from the negligent parties.

Call van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim to Speak with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

Multi-car pile-ups can take a devastating toll on victims and their families. If you live in Philadelphia and were recently injured in a car crash, please contact van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim at (215) 486-0123 to schedule a free consultation.


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