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Who Is Liable in a Multi-Car Crash?

A multi-car crash involves three or more motor vehicles. It can be difficult for an injured party to determine who is liable, or financially responsible, for a multi-car crash due to the number of involved parties. Determining liability may require insights from subject-matter experts, such as crash reconstruction specialists and a car accident lawyer in Colorado.

Who Is Liable for a Car Accident in Colorado?

Identifying the liable person or party begins with understanding Colorado’s insurance laws. Colorado is an at-fault state, meaning the party most at fault for causing the collision is responsible for paying for the crash. All drivers in Colorado must carry minimum amounts of liability insurance to pay for others’ bodily injuries, medical bills and property repairs after a car accident.

How Is Liability Determined in a Multi-Car Crash?

Determining who is at fault for a multi-car collision in Colorado requires an in-depth investigation into what triggered the crash; in other words, what caused the initial collision that led to subsequent collisions. Investigators may return to the scene of the accident, interview witnesses, gather statements, review a police report, analyze surveillance footage and photographs, and hire experts to reconstruct the crash and determine its cause.

Liability for a multi-car accident will depend on the type and circumstances of the crash. In a chain-reaction accident, for example, which describes a string of rear-end collisions, the driver of the vehicle that initially collided with another car will generally be held responsible for all additional rear-end collisions that occur thereafter. In many of these cases, a single driver’s insurance company is responsible for all accident victims’ injuries and losses.

In some cases, however, more than one driver could bear liability for a multi-car crash. If two or more drivers were breaking traffic laws simultaneously, this could lead to a proportion of fault being allocated to multiple drivers rather than just one. In this scenario, each driver will be responsible for paying an amount in damages that is equivalent to his or her degree of fault for the accident.

What Is the Burden of Proof?

In Colorado, the victim(s) of a multi-car crash must determine who or what caused the accident before they can file insurance claims. When a claim is filed, the victim bears the burden of proof. This means the victim must establish another driver’s fault for the car accident as more likely to be true than not true.

If you get involved in a multi-car crash, take the following steps to support your claim:

  1. Call the police to request law enforcement come to the scene and draft an official police report.
  2. Seek medical attention for your injuries immediately.
  3. Take photographs of the scene of the multi-car accident, including all vehicles involved.
  4. Write down the names of all other drivers, passengers and eyewitnesses.
  5. Obtain copies of your medical records and the police report.

Taking these steps can help you preserve and collect evidence to support your claim against one or more drivers. If you need assistance determining fault for a multi-car crash or gathering evidence to meet your burden of proof, contact Cannon Law. We will help ensure your physical and emotional well-being while pursuing maximum compensation for your losses with an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.