Getting into a car accident can be an overwhelming experience for a number of reasons. Not only is it often an expensive, inconvenient, and stressful endeavor, but it can often be complicated, involve multiple parties, and be unclear who is at fault.
In multiple vehicle car accidents, this is often the case. With multiple drivers, passengers, and vehicles, it only multiplies the potential damages, information that needs to be exchanged, and recollections of how the accident took place. When these accidents happen, it can also make pursuing a legal claim seem daunting, which is why potential plaintiffs are advised to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to guide them through the process.
According to a recent local news report, local authorities are investigating a multiple vehicle accident that resulted in the deaths of three individuals. Maryland State Police’s preliminary investigation revealed that a Camaro was traveling eastbound when it attempted to pass another vehicle but struck a Toyota traveling westbound in the opposite direction. Both the driver of the Camaro and his passenger, along with the driver of the Toyota, were pronounced dead at the scene. There was also a third vehicle involved in the accident, but there was no need for further medical treatment of either the driver or its passenger. The investigation is still ongoing, but authorities believe that speed was a major contributing cause to the accident. In fact, the Camaro may have been traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour when the accident took place, authorities reported.
One of the most complicated parts of a multiple vehicle accident is establishing who is at fault. Although this is typically a context-specific question that depends on a variety of factors, generally the last vehicle to be struck does not have liability attached. For example, in a three-car accident, if the first vehicle rear-ends another, which causes the second car to rear-end the third car, the third driver is unlikely to have liability attach. This is because the first vehicle forced the second vehicle to rear-end the final vehicle.
Another daunting element of multiple vehicle crashes is figuring out who to bring a claim against when pursuing a lawsuit. Maryland law uses a concept called contributory negligence, which means that if you are even one percent responsible for your own injuries, you could be barred from recovering damages. Thus, if you negligently rear-ended another vehicle and started the chain reaction off but were then hit by another vehicle, it may be challenging to sustain your own legal claim for damages.
If you were hit and then forced into the vehicle ahead of you, however, this does not always establish negligence and you may recover damages. This is because in Maryland, like other states, fault requires negligence. Because you were hit and it was not your fault, it is unlikely that you will be held responsible for subsequently hitting the car ahead of you.
Do You Need a Maryland Car Accident Attorney?
If you or someone you know was recently involved in a Maryland car accident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today. Our lawyers have recovered more than $55 million for our clients and will provide you with the experience and confidence necessary to effectively pursue your claim. To schedule a free consultation, contact us at 800-654-1949.