A multi-vehicle accident is simply a car accident involving more than two vehicles. Often, people will refer to such crashes as a “pile-up,” especially when they involve dozens of vehicles.
Multi-vehicle accidents usually occur on highways where there are many vehicles traveling at high rates of speed. On these roads, even an accident that might have been relatively minor on an empty road can quickly turn into a dreaded pile-up, as drivers coming upon the multi-vehicle accident collide with disabled vehicles.
Pile-ups often occur in low-visibility conditions, such as dense fog or in bad weather conditions where drivers may not be conscientious about how close they are to the vehicles in front of them and are driving too fast to avoid a collision. Ironically, those cars that do have time to react and manage to avoid colliding with cars in front of them can end up expanding the pile-up. As the trailing vehicles brake, veer, and skid into other lanes or into oncoming traffic, a chain reaction can develop in which the pile-up encompasses many smaller accidents happening simultaneously and sometimes combining. Not surprisingly, large multi-vehicle accidents are some of the deadliest.
Missouri’s highways have their share of multi-vehicle accidents. On February 23, 2011, a 31 car pile-up on a Missouri interstate injured 30 people and shut down the highway for over four hours. Among the crashed vehicles were three semi trucks, two St. Louis Fire Department vehicles, and two EMS vehicles. As one driver described the experience, he hit black ice on the highway and slid into other cars that had already collided. Subsequently, his vehicle was struck multiple times, and he ended up trapped in his vehicle for over an hour, suffering several injuries. Fortunately, there were no fatalities in that multi-vehicle accident.
In September of 2010, there was a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 60 in Missouri that was caused by a farmer burning trash. When his field accidentally caught on fire, the ensuing smoke on the roadway caused several cars to collide, and these vehicles were then hit by a tractor-trailer. At least 15 vehicles were involved, and several people were taken to the hospital, some having to be air-lifted.
In August of 2010, a vehicle that began hydroplaning on a wet road ended up causing a 22 vehicle pile-up on Highway 70. Nine people were injured, three of them seriously. The accident happened when the hydroplaning vehicle spun around and hit a guardrail. A pick-up truck then struck that car, and then another vehicle hit the pick-up. Then, a tractor-trailer collided with those vehicles, and the rest of the vehicles followed in quick succession.
Determining the cause of multi-vehicle accidents is sometimes difficult, and it is particularly fertile ground for a defense lawyer to wreck your case (pun intended). If you cannot prove what driver’s negligence caused the crash, you run the rick of a jury rendering a defense verdict.
Beyond this, if there is more than one impact, a common defense is that the injured person cannot prove what injuries were caused by any particular driver. Our injury attorneys frequently combat, and win, this dubious defense tactic.
Multi-vehicle collisions make it difficult for local emergency services as firefighters, medical personnel, and police try to gather information, prevent further injury, and access, treat, or evacuate injured parties. Because of this, often, crash reports are incomplete or inaccurate, making the investigation even harder.
If you or a member of your family have been involved in a multi-vehicle collision, it is essential you retain legal representation as soon as possible to make sure important evidence and information is not lost. By retaining an attorney, you can protect your rights and obtain the recovery you are entitled to.
As you can probably understand, discovering the cause of your injuries and finding out what drivers are responsible can present an overwhelming undertaking, particularly if you are severely injured.
The personal injury attorneys at E. Ryan Bradley have decades of experience in handling Missouri multi-vehicle accidents, and you can place this daunting task in our capable hands.
E. Ryan Bradley handles multi-vehicle collisions throughout Missouri and Illinois. When you need a reliable and trustworthy Missouri multi-vehicle accident attorney to be on your side, you can count on the attorneys at E. Ryan Bradley.
Contact us today, and put your mind at ease. There is no fee for the consultation, and no obligation. If we agree to proceed, you can rest easy knowing we will never send you a bill, and we will collect no attorneys’ fees unless we obtain a money settlement or judgment in your favor.
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