Articles Posted in Multi-vehicle Accidents

Although many car accidents are simple and it is clear which party is at fault when the collision took place, this is not always the case for every incident. In fact, sometimes car accidents can involve multiple parties, vehicles, collisions, and injuries. The chaos of the accident can also often create problems for drivers in remembering exactly which car hit the other first and how to allocate responsibility. If you are involved in a multi-vehicle accident, knowing your rights and next steps is crucial to protecting yourself and maximizing your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.

According to a recent local news report, Maryland State Police are investigating a multiple-vehicle crash that left a local man dead and also injured a pedestrian. Troopers responded to a report of a multi-vehicle crash around 3:00 AM and to an accident involving five separate vehicles and a pedestrian. Based on a preliminary investigation, a black Dodge initially rear-ended a Chevrolet. A separate driver, acting as a Good Samaritan, stopped his vehicle on the shoulder to assist with the accident. Shortly after the separate driver exited his vehicle, a Nissan crashed into the Dodge from the initial accident and the pedestrian involved in the crash was also struck. A separate accident occurred when a Chevrolet stopped in a separate lane, potentially to also provide assistance before a GMC crashed into it. All five drivers and the pedestrian were transported to a local hospital for treatment. The accident remains under investigation by local authorities.

Multiple-vehicle crashes, often also called chain reaction accidents, can often create legal challenges as complex as the series of collisions that led to the dispute in the first place. Because these accidents often involve several defendants and plaintiffs with personal injury claims, it can be a challenging task to navigate on your own.

Although car accidents can take place in a variety of ways, sometimes they involve multiple cars. Often, these crashes are far from clear cut—it can often be unclear even to those directly involved or those who witnessed the accident exactly who was at fault and how much fault each party should be responsible for. Following a multiple vehicle accident, however, it is important to know exactly how to determine fault. After all, you don’t want to be responsible for more than your share, especially if you were injured or had significant property damage and are seeking to recover from the other parties.

According to a recent news report, a multi-vehicle car accident resulted in the death of one person and injuries to four others. Local police said that five vehicles were involved in the accident, and preliminary findings indicate that speed may have been a contributing factor. The collision resulted in one death, one critical and serious injury, and two minor injuries. The street where the accident took place was temporarily closed as investigators continued to canvas the scene and vehicles were removed. The accident remains under investigation.

In all personal injury claims, the party suing for compensation must be able to prove the defendant or defendants’ actions were negligent and directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries or damage sustained. In multiple vehicle accidents that typically involve a chain reaction of crashes, it can be challenging establishing fault because although the accident may have happened because someone was negligent and started it, the actions of the other parties involved also play a role in the severity of the crash. For example, if other drivers involved in the accident also are speeding or distracted, this can create an even more severe multiple vehicle accident.

Car accidents can be confusing and scary for any driver, especially when they are injured and they may not think about how the type of accident and amount of cars involved can impact the compensation they can recover for their injuries. For one thing, it isn’t always clear what the cause of a multi-car crash was or who is at fault for legal and insurance purposes. When a car accident involves multiple cars, in what are often called “chain-reaction” crashes, the difficulties of determining fault increase substantially.

For Maryland drivers, these questions become more important because of the way Maryland law assigns fault in multi-car accident cases. Maryland law looks at the fault of all parties involved in the accident, not just the first car to set off the chain of collisions. That means that in a chain-reaction crash where the second car in the chain was texting instead of watching the road when they were hit and that caused them to hit the third driver instead of swerving, the court might find them partly responsible. Speaking with an experienced attorney familiar with Maryland’s unique law is an important step to protect your legal rights when entering litigation and seeking financial compensation related to injuries from a car accident.

According to one recent news report, there a multi-car crash sent three people to the hospital, leaving two people suffering from serious injuries. The chain-reaction accident started when a car crossed a highway median, entering oncoming traffic and hitting another car head-on, injuring the driver. The struck car then collided with a tractor-trailer, in turn injuring that driver as well. Both of the motorists in the struck vehicles were extracted from their vehicles and brought to the hospital for treatment of severe injuries, while the driver of the car who started the chain reaction was able to walk out of the hospital with only minor injuries.

Lots of Maryland families travel for the Independence Day weekend. Whether driving to a barbeque, a firework show, or to the shore for the long weekend, holiday travel carries a higher risk for involvement in a motor vehicle accident. In fact, statistics show that the Fourth of July weekend is the deadliest weekend of the year in terms of roadway fatalities.

This year, on the Friday before Independence Day, Maryland police responded to a rush-hour crash in which two people were injured. According to reports, both vehicles in the accident incurred substantial damage. Apparently, both drivers in the two-car accident were trapped in their respective vehicles until firefighters arrived to extract them. Although one of the drivers was treated locally, the other driver required air transport to a shock trauma unit.

After the accident, police temporarily closed the roadway to reconstruct the scene. Although information about the status of the drivers and the cause of the accident has not yet been released to the public, these details may become available in the coming weeks and months.

After a Maryland multi-vehicle accident, determining who caused the crash can be difficult. In some cases, there may be multiple contributing causes of the crash. If a plaintiff files a Maryland negligence against one or more defendants involved in the crash, the plaintiff must show that a defendant’s wrongful action or inaction was a cause-in-fact and a legal cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Cause-in-fact means proving that a defendant’s conduct actually caused the injury, whereas legal cause means proving that a defendant should be held liable for the plaintiff’s injury.

If two or more independent negligent acts caused the plaintiff’s injuries, Maryland courts will determine whether a defendant’s conduct was a “substantial factor” in bringing about the plaintiff’s injuries. Even if a defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injuries, the harm must have been sufficiently related to the defendant’s negligent conduct. That is, Maryland courts will consider the foreseeability of the harm and the relationship between the defendant’s conduct and the harm. Maryland courts may decline to hold a defendant liable due to policy considerations and fairness. In addition, because Maryland follows the doctrine of contributory negligence, if a plaintiff is found to be even partially at fault for their own injuries in a Maryland negligence case, the plaintiff cannot recover compensation in court. Maryland is one of the few states in the United States that continues to apply the doctrine of contributory negligence. This means that plaintiffs often have to defend against claims that they were negligent in order to succeed in court.

The plaintiff must prove all elements of the case, including causation, by a preponderance of the evidence—that the defendant’s actions were more likely than not the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff may prove the case through either direct or circumstantial evidence and the plaintiff must identify specific actions or inactions of the defendant that were negligent.

Recently, a major Maryland car accident made headlines when a two-year-old girl, a passenger in one of the cars, was thrown from her vehicle into the Assawoman Bay. According to The Baltimore Sun, the accident happened on a Sunday afternoon earlier this month. The cause of the multi-vehicle accident is still unclear, but witnesses report that on Route 90 in Ocean City, a pickup truck seemed to lose control before it spun, hit a concrete barrier, and flipped over a guardrail. The truck hit a BMW, which propelled it towards another car. The car swerved, and the BMW then crashed into another vehicle.

One of the drivers got out of his car to check on the driver of the BMW, and then ran over to help a man trying to get out of the pickup truck hanging off the side of the bridge. Once he was freed, he pointed to the water toward a car seat and a toddler floating on her back, kicking, before she rolled over and was face-down in the water. At that point, the driver of the car jumped into the water to save the toddler, who spit up a lot of water. A boat came and picked him and the girl up, and she was flown to Baltimore hospital. Seven other people associated with the crash were also treated at the hospital, but fortunately, no one was killed.

This unbelievable story made headlines, and at a press conference, the rescuer was publicly thanked, and the Ocean City Mayor commented on how fortunate it was that everyone survived. However, although the media attention will soon fade, the long-term impacts of these crashes can last months if not years. Even when the injuries do not seem too serious at the time, many individuals involved in Maryland car accidents find themselves sore and dealing with pain long after the crash occurs. Some individuals may find themselves needing physical therapy or to visit a chiropractor to deal with the impacts.

Maryland car accidents happen every single day. Sometimes, they involve just one car, which might hit a tree, a sign, or even a pedestrian. Other times, they may involve two cars or vehicles, usually with one car hitting another. In some cases, however, Maryland car accidents may involve three or more vehicles, usually because one crash leads to a chain reaction of events and crashes, involving several vehicles outside of the original crash. These accidents can be devastating for Maryland drivers and their families, as many people can be seriously injured or even killed in the blink of an eye.

For an example of a chain-reaction, multi-vehicle crash, take a recent Maryland accident. This tragic six-vehicle car accident occurred earlier this month, unfortunately leaving one man dead and two others injured. According to a local news report covering the incident, the accident occurred around 2:45 PM on Maryland Route 32 in Dayton, Maryland. While the investigation of the crash is ongoing, given how recently it occurred, the police say that the preliminary investigation indicates that a Ford pickup truck was traveling north when it crossed the center line of the road and struck an oncoming dump truck. The dump truck then crossed into oncoming traffic and struck a Chevrolet pickup truck, which overturned. Additionally, the original Ford pickup truck continued into oncoming traffic, hitting a car head-on. A Jeep SUV traveling behind the car struck both the car and the Ford pickup truck, and a Toyota SUV was also struck by one of the other vehicles involved. Overall, six different vehicles ended up involved, all due to one driver crossing over the center line.

The driver of the car, which was hit head-on by the Ford pickup truck, was a 50-year-old Cooksville man, tragically pronounced dead at the scene. Three others were injured. A passenger in the car was taken to the Shock Trauma Unit of the hospital with serious injuries, where she was reported to be in critical condition. The driver of the dump truck was also taken to the hospital, though fortunately, his injuries were non-life-threatening. As a result of the crash, the section of Route 32 involved was closed for about six hours.

Most people do not think about the possibility of filing a Maryland personal injury lawsuit until they need to—until they themselves get injured in an accident. A common catalyst for these lawsuits are Maryland car accidents, which are unfortunately all too common and occur every day. Some of these accidents are somewhat predictable and common—perhaps a driver runs a red light, or a drunk driver swerves into the wrong lane. While these accidents are tragic, they are also pretty usual and expected—driver’s education courses teach Maryland drivers to be on the lookout for these risky behaviors which would lead to accidents.

Other accidents, however, are less predictable and, frankly, quite unusual. Take a recent tragedy that occurred just last month. According to a news article covering the incident, a pickup truck was driving southbound one morning, around 11 am, when it unexpectedly crossed the median and northbound lanes before leaving the road and crashing into a house. Tragically, one person inside the house was killed. The driver of the pickup truck was also injured, and taken to the hospital in serious condition. It is unknown what caused the driver to leave the road and crash into the house—the crash is still under investigation.

Regardless of how the Maryland car accident happens—whether it’s a slight fender-bender or someone crashing into a house—the state allows those injured as a result to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover for the damages incurred. These lawsuits are civil, meaning the defendant in the case (usually the driver who caused the accident) will not face any jail time or criminal charges as a result. Instead, if they are held liable for the accident, they will likely be ordered to pay the plaintiff (the injured person who brought the suit) for the costs they incurred as a result. The goal is to make the plaintiff whole, as close to as if the accident had never happened as possible. So if the plaintiff had to pay $100,000 in medical fees and expenses as a result of the accident, then the court may instruct the defendant to pay the plaintiff $100,000. In tragic cases like the one described above, when someone dies, their family or estate may be able to bring the suit instead. In this circumstance, they can also recover for funeral and burial costs, in addition to any medical expenses or other costs.

Any Maryland negligence claim requires proving that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty, that the defendant breached that duty, that the plaintiff suffered an injury or loss, and that the damages proximately resulted from the defendant’s breach of the duty. The legal relationship between the breach of duty and the injury is known as proximate cause. Under Maryland law, to establish proximate cause, the plaintiff must show that the negligence was both the cause in fact of the injury and a legally cognizable cause.

Cause in fact refers only to whether a defendant’s actions actually caused an injury. Whether there is a legally cognizable cause considers whether the injury was a foreseeable result of the defendant’s negligent actions. The issue becomes whether the injury to the plaintiff was within the general field of danger that the defendant should have expected or anticipated. Legal cause often requires a consideration of policy considerations and whether a defendant should be held liable under the circumstances. Generally, proximate cause must be decided by a jury (or a judge if the judge is the trier of fact), unless there is only one possible inference that can be drawn based on the facts of the case, or unless “reasoning minds cannot differ.”

Foreseeability is also a consideration in determining whether a duty exists in personal injury cases. In a 1985 case that is still cited today, one Maryland judge explained that “courts have given further effect to the social policy of limitation of liability for remote consequences by narrowing the concept of duty to embrace only those persons or classes of persons to whom harm of some type might reasonably have been foreseen as a result of the particular tortious conduct.”

In some cases, a presumption of negligence can work in a party’s favor. However, presumptions can also work against a party. For example, in rear-end collisions, in many states, there is a presumption that the rear driver was negligent. Maryland courts have found that in Maryland rear-end collision cases, if a vehicle is lawfully stopped while waiting for traffic to clear and that vehicle is rear-ended by another car, the operator of the car that rear-ended the stopped vehicle is presumed to have been negligent. However, the presumption is rebuttable, and the burden of persuasion remains with the plaintiff. Thus, a plaintiff still has the ultimate responsibility to prove that the defendant was negligent, which includes establishing all the elements of negligence.

In addition, Maryland courts have found that in the case of a rear-end collision that occurs after the first vehicle stops, there is no presumption that the rear driver was negligent, unless the rear driver had the opportunity to stop after the need to stop became apparent. Under Maryland Code section 21–310(a), a driver cannot follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, considering traffic, the speed of the other car, and the conditions on the road.

Court Directs Verdict Against Rear-End Driver Despite Jury’s Verdict

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