Who Is At Fault in a Chain Reaction Accident?

three cars involved in an accident, auto accident attorneyThe actions of more than one driver often combine to cause chain reaction accidents, and courts consider all drivers involved and assign a percentage of fault to each to determine responsibility for injuries and damage. An auto accident attorney often assists drivers who are involved in chain reaction accidents in determining if they are entitled to compensation for their injuries based on their portion of contributing fault.

Causes of Chain Reaction Accidents

Nationally, there are about 35,000 fatalities and 1.5 million injuries each year resulting from traffic accidents. Many are the result of chain reaction crashes, and multiple factors may be to blame. Determining all of the causes of these accidents is essential for recovering damages for injured persons. Contributing factors to chain reaction accidents include:

  • Driver impairment
  • Driver distraction
  • Vehicle speed
  • Vehicle performance and function
  • Road conditions
  • Weather conditions

In some cases, a single driver or road condition may be at fault. Frequently, however, chain reaction accidents are the result of the combined actions of multiple drivers, road and weather conditions.

Determining Who is at Fault

Illinois law requires courts and juries to consider the contributory fault of each driver and road condition involved in an accident. They assign a proportion of responsibility to each to determine what damages the parties may be liable for and how much compensation may be recovered for injuries sustained by others in the accident.

A comparison between the contributing factors of all persons involved in the accident provides a percentage of fault and liability for each. For example, a driver assigned sixty percent of the fault may be held liable for sixty percent of the damages and no more. A driver assigned fifty percent or more of the fault in an accident cannot recover damages from a driver with a lower assignment of contributing fault.

Persons Assigned Contributing Fault May Still Recover Damages

In reviewing a case for damages in a chain reaction accident, an auto accident attorney examines all contributing factors to determine if a victim has a claim. As long as drivers are assigned less than fifty percent of the contributing fault in a chain reaction accident, they may be entitled to recover compensation according to their portion of contributory fault.