How is Liability Determined for a Multi-Car Crash in Oregon?

Accidents do not always involve just one vehicle. They can also include a chain reaction with one car hitting another. These multi-car accidents are complicated because there may be one or more parties involved, and all parties sustaining damage typically need to know who to blame to receive fair compensation. Determining liability in a multi-car crash in Oregon is something our Portland car accident attorneys can help you with.

Determining Liability in a Multi-Car Crash

As with all car accidents, evidence from a variety of sources is used to determine who is liable for the incident, and, when that is done, it becomes possible to seek financial compensation from those at fault. Under Oregon Revised Statutes, liability is determined based on multiple factors, and each driver can be held responsible for the amount of blame they have in that situation. Typically, as long as you were at under 50% at fault, you may be able to file a claim.

If evidence shows that one driver hit multiple vehicles, that driver may be fully at fault for the accident and, therefore, liable for the losses incurred on all accounts. If one driver hits another driver, and then that second driver hits yet another car, each party may have some blame in the incident. This often comes down to the details of what occurred and why, and here are some details that may play a role:

  • The vehicle in front: The vehicle at the head of an accident could be held responsible for losses if they stopped hard or unexpectedly, and that led to multi-vehicles striking each other behind them.
  • The vehicles in the middle of the crash: The vehicle in the middle of a car accident could be the car that started the crash if the car in front did not act negligently. They could be responsible for damages to the car behind and in front of them, depending on the circumstances.
  • The vehicle at the rear: This driver could be liable for the entire accident if the collision with the driver in front of them directly caused the collision with the first car.

More Than One Vehicle Could Be to Blame

There are many situations in which just one party is to blame, but in cases like this, it can be a combined effort, especially in situations where road conditions are bad or instances in which one driver is distracted. Even if you are determined to be partially at fault, it is well worth seeking out legal support to determine if you can file a claim for the losses you have. Do not assume that you do not have access to compensation – let us help you instead.

How Evidence Is Obtained to Prove Your Case

To determine who is to blame for a multi-car accident,  as much evidence as possible needs to be obtained, and to do that, our attorneys work closely with clients to gather that information. While a police report often provides the base level of information and typically assigns blame, we can work to find any other information available that could help to prove your losses. Some of the ways we can do this include:

  • Gathering witness statements from all of those involved, including passengers, those who saw what occurred, and all drivers
  • Determine if there are videos or any photos of what occurred available, including from local surveillance cameras or eyewitness photos
  • Utilize driver toxicology reports and other medical records that could shed light on who is at fault in an accident like this
  • Gather insight from accident recreationists who can provide insight into what occurred and demonstrate what happened based on evidence at the scene
  • Determine if there is a black box or other documented information available, such as from a commercial vehicle that may have been involved in the accident

In a multi-car accident like this, it is up to you, the victim, to determine what happened and to seek out evidence to support your claim. This is not always simple to do, but our car accident attorneys have the tools and resources to help you through the process. We know how to find evidence that is out there, how to look for holes in the stories of those who were involved, and how to show that you may not have been to blame.

What You Should Do After a Multi-Car Accident

When you are involved in a crash like this, there are several things you should do to protect your right to compensation. Ideally, you called the police, went to the doctor to get the medical care you need, and then filed a police report. From there, there are several additional steps to take:

  • Contact a car accident attorney in Oregon to help you navigate the legal steps available to you and to help you aggressively work to protect your right to compensation.
  • Avoid social media, including not posting about your accident, about your injuries, or about any details related to those involved to protect your rights throughout this process.
  • Discuss your case with us openly and thoroughly, allowing us to ensure we have as much information as possible to pursue evidence in your case.
  • Avoid speaking to the insurance company and let us handle that process for you instead, minimizing the risk that they will try to limit the compensation paid to you.
  • Work on your recovery, including continuing to get all of the medical care you need.

These steps can help you protect your right to compensation. Multi-car accidents are challenging with numerous complexities. Our car accident attorneys have the experience you can rely on to help you navigate the legal process with confidence.

Set Up a Free Consultation with Our Attorneys Now

Schedule a free consultation with our car accident attorneys in Oregon to begin the process of proving your losses. At Paulson Collett Trial Attorneys PC, we know what must be done to prove your right to compensation. Talk to us about your case now.