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How is liability determined in a multi-vehicle crash?

Many Louisiana car accidents happen when drivers are distracted and fail to yield or stop in time before colliding with other automobiles on the road. It is not uncommon for a two vehicle accident to become a three or more vehicle accident when cars, trucks, and vans are driving fast or too close together.

Multi-vehicle accidents present their own challenges when it comes to determining who is responsible for the losses victims sustained in the incident. With three or more drivers involved in a crash it may be difficult to say that only one of them is fully responsible for all of the harm the crash caused. As such, Louisiana has adopted a comparative negligence statute that spreads the liability of accidents to all parties whose negligence led to the vehicle collision.

For example, imagine a three vehicle accident on a highway. Imagine that the front car in the collision came to a stop and was then rear-ended by the second car. Imagine then that the second car was rear-ended by a third car and that the driver of the first car suffered injuries in the incident. Can the driver of the second car be fully responsible for the accident if the impact of the third car also caused the victim to suffer harm? Most likely not, and through the application of the comparative negligence statute a court would determine what percentage of liability the driver of the second car carried as well as the percentage of negligence that the driver of the third car carried.

A victim's damages may be reduced if the victim's own negligence could be factored into the cause of the crash. As a multi-vehicle crash can be complicated by its facts, readers of this blog are asked to speak to their personal injury attorneys about their possible legal claims. This post should not be used as legal advice and is provided as information only.

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