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Who Is at Fault in a Multi-Car Crash?

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Posted on January 21, 2024

If you are involved in a car accident in St. George, identifying the at-fault party is key to seeking fair compensation and justice. Determining fault can be relatively straightforward if the collision involves just one other driver. However, when an accident includes multiple vehicles, identifying the liable party becomes considerably more complex

In these situations, a thorough investigation is essential to unravel the sequence of events leading to the accident. Because these collisions can be so complex, it is a good idea to consult with a lawyer who can conduct this assessment on your behalf.

How Does Utah Determine Fault in a Car Accident?

Utah follows a fault-based system when assessing liability in car accidents. This means that the driver who caused the accident is responsible for the damages suffered by the victims, such as medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering. Under this system, the injured party must prove that the other driver was negligent to receive compensation.

Different Factors Can Affect Liability in a Multi-Car Crash

To determine who is at fault in a multi-car crash, you need to carefully examine each driver’s actions before the accident. For instance, one driver’s excessive speed might have set off a chain reaction, while another’s failure to adhere to traffic signals could have worsened the situation

Each individual could play a role in some way, but the driver whose primary actions caused the collision is likely liable. For example, say that Driver A is speeding on a wet road when Driver B, who is traveling ahead of them, brakes suddenly to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Driver A then collides with Driver B, who hits Driver C in the next lane. In this situation, the accident would not have occurred if Driver A had been speeding and kept a safe distance, so they would likely be liable.

Comparative Fault in Multi-Car Accidents

In multi-car accidents, the concept of comparative fault often comes into play. This principle acknowledges that more than one driver can be at fault for a collision, which can impact any future compensation

For instance, consider a scenario where Driver A runs a red light, while Driver B is speeding through the intersection, resulting in a collision that also involves Driver C. In this situation, both Drivers A and B may share responsibility for the crash

According to Utah’s modified comparative fault laws, if a driver is less than 50% at fault, they can still recover partial compensation from other at-fault parties. However, the court will reduce their settlement by the percentage of fault that they hold. If a driver is 50% or more liable for the accident, they cannot recover any compensation. Determining the degree of fault for each driver can significantly impact the settlement you may receive, which is why it is critical to work with an attorney.

Work with a Utah Car Accident 

Navigating the complexities of a multi-car accident in Utah can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with injuries and emotional trauma. A personal injury lawyer in St. George can provide the guidance and support that you need during this difficult time, helping you untangle the web of liability and recover the settlement that you deserve. If you are involved in a multi-car accident, speak to an attorney as soon as possible to plan your path to justice.