Virginia Multiple Vehicle Accident Lawyers
[Photo Credit: Virginia State Police]
Virginia is not a tiny state, nor is it a sparsely populated one period we have many people, and many highways, and many people on our highways. That translates to more vehicles, which means more accidents. Many accidents are mere fender benders, where no one is injured. However, some of these accidents can be very serious, especially when multiple vehicles are involved. Did you know for example, that in Virginia, over 40% of all fatal car accidents involved collisions with more than two vehicles? It's true, according to the Virginia department of motor vehicles (1).
As a general rule, a car accident is where one vehicle hits another, due to the negligence of 1 driver. However, the vehicle that has been hit can sometimes be pushed into another vehicle. There are other times when four or five or even six vehicles can be involved! These accidents are commonly known as pileups, but in the legal profession, we call them multiple vehicle crashes. Not only are people hurt, they often can be seriously traumatized by being in such a horrible accident. This is to say nothing of the continually growing stress of having to deal with medical bills, some of which seemingly come out of nowhere.
If you have been involved in a multi car crash, or pile up, you need an experienced car accident lawyer who has handled many of these cases over the years. Call Blaszkow Legal PLLC for aggressive and experienced representation to get the compensation you deserve for the injuries you or your loved one has sustained – 703-879-5910
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for a Multi-Car Crash?
Yes, absolutely. One of the biggest issues in a multi vehicle accident, even when liability is absolutely certain (for example, the rear most vehicle hit already-stopped cars), is available coverage. In this scenario, the rearmost vehicle may be 100% liable for the accident, but may only have a Virginia minimum insurance policy. Presently, that means $30,000 per person, and $60,000 per accident. The most that person's insurance policy will pay is $60,000 (total!), to everyone involved in this accident. More often than not, that is not going to be sufficient to cover everyone's damages.
An experienced car accident attorney, who knows how to handle multiple vehicle accidents, and knows how to properly evaluate and investigate uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is going to be essential to getting the best result possible as a result of the accident.
How Do Multi-Vehicle Accidents Happen?
Multi car accidents are more common than people realize, and the causes range from tragic mistakes, two completely avoidable incidents of negligence that truly harm people. One person's negligent action can cause damage to multiple vehicles, and multiple people in each vehicle. Some examples of common causes are:
Distracted Driving - drivers have a lot of things going on these days that can take their attention off of the roadway, even for a few seconds. These few seconds can be absolutely vital response time and reaction time that our lost, usually from cell phones, or things that phones are connected to, such as entertainment systems.
Speeding - speeding drivers, even if they react quickly, have less time to respond to conditions ahead of them. This is because the faster you go, the more force is being generated, and the more force that is necessary to stop that action, such as applying the brakes. The brakes may be insufficient to stop a vehicle going at a certain speed in a certain distance. This is how rear end collisions can happen.
Driving Under the Influence / Intoxicated Driving - DUI accidents are very bad to begin with, and or even worse when multiple vehicles are involved. DUI drivers have less response time than a regular driver, and you can imagine that this response is further impaired if the driver is both drinking and speeding. Some intoxicated drivers, rather than being slow to respond, also Dr. aggressively, which is even more dangerous.
Distracted Truck Drivers - drivers of big rigs can cause very serious accidents if they drive when utilizing a cell phone or other computerized device in the cab of their vehicle, rather than keeping their full time and attention on the road. A truck, especially one going at speed, can strike one vehicle, and push it into many others in one or even multiple lanes in serious crashes.
Improper Maintenance - A car's brakes, just like the oil, have to be changed every so often, through normal wear and tear. A driver who does not perform regular maintenance on his or her vehicle is being negligent, and placing other drivers in jeopardy. Even if that driver operated the vehicle with due care, and then tried to stop at a reasonable distance, but was unable to due to bad condition of the brakes, that driver, and or the owner of the vehicle, may still be negligent.
How Do You Determine Who Is At Fault in A Multiple Car Accident?
This is not an easy question, and many attorneys spend many years trying to get out enough experience to be able to make these determinations. At Blaszkow Legal, we have many years' experience in investigating and prosecuting these kind of cases to be able to get our clients all of the compensation they deserve. We have a team of attorneys, paralegals, and investigators who we put to work in every case to figure out exactly who is responsible for a multiple car crash.
Often, this investigation includes the use of experts, such as forensic examiners for vehicle data recorders, and crash reconstructionists who help determine the exact sequence of events leading up to the collision, as well as the collision itself. Multiple factors have to be investigated in each vehicle, because and accident might have been bad involving two or three cars, but negligence on the part of a third car may make it even worse. These investigations are not quick, and cannot be rushed – this is not as simple at a car being rear ended while stopped at a red light.
Our investigation relies heavily on evidence. You always have to remember that as the plaintiff, that is the person bringing the claim, the burden is on us to prove our case, not merely make accusations. Two of the biggest items of evidence that we utilize in every case, if available, are pictures and videos. If you are ever involved in an accident, of any kind, take as many pictures and videos as you can. In the age of digital technology, you don't have to worry about only having three clicks of a camera!
Won’t The Police Do Their Own Investigation?
Yes, the police will do their own investigation, but you have to remember that police officers have their own set of guidelines, and their own agenda as to what they are trying to prove. Police officers are competent public servants, but their focus is not the same as ours. They may determine that no citation is warranted, and leave it there. That doesn't change the fact that you have been injured and you still have a civil case to make. You cannot rely on a police officer statements, no matter how well-intentioned, or even their report.
However, having said that, a police report is still essential in building our investigation of your accident from the civil side. This will contain a lot of information that we need to begin our investigation and review of the case.
Sometimes the responding police officers will take pictures and their own video. We will obtain this either through a process called the Freedom of Information Act, or through subpoena if your case goes to trial.
Why Do Multi-Car Accidents Take So Long?
Multiple car accidents are not simple matters. An attorney who is rushing your case, may be missing important pieces of evidence that are necessary to prove your case to the insurance company, and to a judge or jury later on. It is vital not to rush, that way you do not miss things.
Additionally, because the injuries are often so severe in these cases, a competent attorney is not going to try to speed along negotiations, because his client is still in treatment! One of the largest damage elements that a plaintiff has is the total medical expense of all treatment to get you back to where you were before the accident. We let our client focus on getting better, while we work the investigation of the case.
There are other times when a case is delayed because criminal or traffic proceedings are still pending. Traffic citations and sometimes criminal proceedings, can be used and are admissible in civil cases, if the defendant pleads guilty or otherwise pays for a citation. This is an important admission against the interest of the defendant, and we will use that to help prove your case in civil court (2).
One of the most common reasons for the delay however is beyond the control of the attorney working your individual case. In multiple vehicle accidents, you have multiple claimants. Each of those claimants is usually represented by a separate attorney, and each individual claimant is injured in their own way, and is seeking their own treatment. The insurance company will almost always want to wait until all of the demands are received before making any serious negotiating offers.
Why Is Blaszkow Legal The Go To Multiple Car Accident Lawyer?
Because our team has decades of experience working cases like this. The Blaszkow Legal Method Involves preparing your case for trial from day one. We work every case as soon as it comes in the door like it is going to trial period we do this, and the insurance companies know we do this. The insurance companies know that not all law firms do! This sets us apart, because they know we are ready willing and able to fight, and they do not play games with us that they will play with other lawyers. We have no hesitation, unlike some other firms, about pushing your case into trial to get you the fair value for your injuries.
You do not have to fight alone. Get Justice with Joe – call Blaszkow Legal today – 703-879-5910
(1) Virginia DMV Report for 2021: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/safety/crash_data/crash_facts/crash_facts_21.pdf
(2) Virginia Admissibility of Paid Tickets and Guilty Pleas: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title8.01/chapter14/section8.01-418/