How Insurance Companies Assess Liability in Multi-Vehicle Trucking Accidents

Multi-vehicle trucking accidents are incredibly complex and capable of causing significant damage. These collisions often result in substantial property damage, multiple injuries, and even fatalities. Figuring out the financial side of these accidents afterward is no small task, but it is essential when there are medical bills and repair expenses to be paid.

Learn more about how insurance companies determine liability when multiple vehicles are involved in a truck collision. If you’ve been hurt in a truck crash, call Bailey, Javins & Carter at 678-210-3292 to set up a consultation now.

Factors in Insurance Companies’ Decisions

Insurance companies conduct thorough investigations to determine liability after a crash. The more expensive a vehicle accident is, the more time and effort they’ll put into this investigation—when a crash only causes $500 in damage, the stakes are much lower than they are in a crash that causes $300,000 in damage.

They’ll conduct an in-depth accident scene investigation to gather as much physical evidence as possible. Insurance adjusters will also use photos and video footage from their clients to aid in their investigation. The adjuster will speak to both parties to get their side of the story and see if they can figure out exactly what happened.

Truck drivers are held to very high standards, and those standards can be used against them in an investigation. The FMCSA maintains strict regulations for hours of service and vehicle maintenance, and it’s easy for insurance adjusters and attorneys to find out if a driver is compliant with those regulations. If they are not, that could seriously hurt their case.

A truck’s electronic logging device is a reliable source of evidence. It maintains data on a driver’s speed and hours of service. Many models also track erratic changes in speed, rapid lane changes, and other signs of unsafe driving.

When Multiple Parties Are Liable

In many vehicle accidents, more than one party is ultimately liable for the crash. While one party may be primarily liable, the other party’s actions may have contributed. Consider, for example, a truck that drives into the back end of a car, crushing it. The truck driver may be found primarily liable for the crash, but the car driver may be partially at fault if they had a broken taillight that made it impossible for the truck driver to see that they were braking. In a multi-vehicle situation, it is more likely that multiple drivers will have some share of fault.

Chain reaction accidents often involve multiple liable parties. Imagine a truck hitting a vehicle from behind, shoving it into the car in front of them. Again, the truck driver would have the majority of fault in this situation. If the car in the middle was too close to the car in front of them, they may have some fault for the secondary accident.

The Role of Georgia’s Comparative Negligence Laws

Comparative negligence laws often come into play in multi-vehicle collisions. These laws are relevant when the fault is shared among multiple parties. Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that victims of accidents can still seek compensation. However, they must be less than 50% at fault for the collision. If they are 50% at fault or more, they cannot recover anything in court. If they are found to be less than 50% liable in court, their court award will be reduced proportionate to their share of liability.

What does this mean for your accident claim? It means that it is essential that you talk to an attorney as soon as possible. When there are multiple drivers involved, everyone is out for themselves. Without someone to represent your best interests, you could be left responsible for your own medical bills, repair costs, lost wages, and other expenses. A lawyer can help determine the liable party and go after them for damages.

Get the Support You Deserve with Bailey, Javins & Carter

The sooner you begin working with our team, the sooner we can start building your case. Set up a consultation with our team of Atlanta truck accident lawyers right away—just call us at 678-210-3292 or send us a message online.