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Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Explains the Complexities of Multi-Vehicle Accident Claims

Nov 17, 2015 Brown Moore Car Accidents

The causes of any auto accident are often open to a certain degree of interpretation. Even a seemingly straightforward rear-end collision involving two vehicles can raise certain liability questions like, “Did the rear vehicle just drive away from an auto repair shop that installed new brakes that failed?” Add another vehicle to the mix and the liability questions often increase.

Multiple Car Accident Victims Can Have Varying Perspectives

Auto accident victims typically view the cause of a collision based on what caused their specific damages. Consider a recent NC multi-vehicle accident that injured five people. As reported by Fox8, a stopped pickup truck waiting to make a turn was rear-ended by a Ford that failed to stop, possibly due to cell phone distractions. The impact of this crash pushed the truck into oncoming traffic, causing a collision with a Nissan car. Although the underlying details are not clear from the report, consider how the three drivers might initially see the accident:

  • The truck driver probably sees the cause of his damages and injuries as the driver of the Ford. Even if the truck driver was not aware of any phone use on the part of the other driver, he knows his vehicle was stopped when another vehicle behind him did not stop. The chances are that his theories are accurate, from a legal standpoint.
  • The Nissan driver does not initially know what caused the truck to move into the oncoming lane of traffic. The Nissan driver might initially assume that the truck driver was responsible because he was trying to make a turn before the traffic was clear.
  • The Ford driver could potentially introduce an unseen fourth participant. Out of fear of job loss, that driver might have been forced by an employer to talk on the phone while driving. As long as the driver was over 18 years old, no current NC law prohibits hand-held phone use, so there might be an argument supporting the idea that the individual on the other end of the line actually contributed to the accident.

The allegations of any party involved in the accident could potentially add complications when the truck and Nissan drivers pursue compensation from the Ford driver.

NC Pure Contributory Negligence Laws Look at Proximate Cause

Under NC law, individuals whose negligence directly caused their own injuries (known as a proximate cause) to any degree cannot generally pursue compensation from other negligent parties. Even in this relatively-simple case, the truck driver’s actions might seem like the proximate cause of the injuries to any occupants in the Nissan. On the other hand, if those occupants were not wearing seatbelts, perhaps they would be seen as the true proximate cause of their injuries.

The bottom line is that any car accident can pose challenges when pursuing compensation. Particularly when motor vehicle accidents result in significant injuries, victims should make it a practice to seek legal advice as soon as possible before filing a claim. To learn the most appropriate next steps, call us at 800-948-0577 or use our convenient online contact form.