Multi-car Accidents and Liability in Florida

When several vehicles are involved in an accident and liability is in question, it is a good idea for injury victims to seek attorney counsel to ensure their rights are protected.

If you sustained injuries due to another driver’s error or carelessness, Florida law allows you to recover damages and losses for serious injuries through a personal injury lawsuit. Determining fault for the purpose of insurance coverage can be a complex effort.

Speak with an experienced Florida attorney at our firm today.
Call 855-Kramer-Now (855-572-6376)
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Who Is Liable in a Multiple Vehicle Pileup?

When it comes to multi-car accidents, the question of who is liable is the No. 1 area of dispute.

The second big question is, will there be sufficient insurance coverage to cover all injuries sustained, or property damage caused.

In a recent example in Central Florida, one motorist was killed and four others were injured in a multi-vehicle collision. The chain reaction wreck was over in seconds, in which:

  • Car A sideswiped oncoming Car B;
  • Car A then struck a third vehicle, Car C, head-on;
  • A fourth automobile, Car D, then slammed into the rear of Car C.

In multi-vehicle accidents such as this, it becomes difficult to prove which drivers’ actions contributed to the accident, and to what degree. There are 4 drivers with 4 different stories, and varying eyewitness accounts.

It may seem that Car A triggered the accident. Yet he may have been driving safely until he hit a pothole that flattened his tire, causing him to swerve into the oncoming lane. Car D may have been speeding and following too close to Car C, and could have avoided rear ending Car C.

Now imagine a 50-car pileup on I-75 involving big rigs and commercial vehicles colliding with family sedans and motorcycles. For severely injured motorists and their families, the determination of liability becomes all-encompassing.

Who is responsible for paying damages? Even if liability is not clear cut among all parties, an experienced accident lawyer can advise you through the process of determining who to bring a claim against.

Florida Follows the Rule of Pure Comparative Negligence

Usually, one person did something to set off the collision that led to the pileup. Yet the ensuing chain reaction often means multiple drivers were at fault to some degree.

So while police may ticket a negligent driver, with regards to insurance, liability may be assigned to multiple parties.

Comparative negligence holds that in multi-car accidents, the amount of compensation awarded to an injured person is directly proportionate to each driver’s percentage of fault.

The puzzle becomes how to assign the percentage of fault to the involved parties.

The insurance adjuster will examine the police reports, medical records and various other factors to assess the car accident settlement. The adjuster may decide that several drivers are liable for injuries, or the adjuster may not agree to settle at all.

Insurance companies may also seek ways to deny or delay large claims. This may be grounds for filing a lawsuit against your insurer on the grounds of bad faith insurance.

Determination of liability depends on the facts of the case.

Fault must be proven by evidence. This includes investigating law enforcement reports, witness testimony, road conditions, vehicle damage, skid marks and debris at the scene of the accident, photographs, weather conditions and other possible evidence implicating other parties as liable, and possibly absolving yourself from responsibility.

An injured party whose attorney investigates and produces the best evidence is often the party that prevails.

Speak with an experienced Florida attorney at our firm today.
Call 855-Kramer-Now (855-572-6376)
.

Will there be enough insurance to cover everyone injured in a Florida multi-car crash?

Multi-car accidents carry an increased likelihood of high insurance payouts due to

  • Extensive vehicle and property damage
  • Severe bodily injury to drivers and passengers

Even if liability is unmistakable, the insurance coverage of the person or persons who are responsible for the accident will likely be insufficient to cover all of the property damage caused, or injuries sustained.

Bodily Injury Liability Insurance

Florida does not mandate drivers and car owners to carry liability insurance. Therefore, the possibility of a multi-car crash on Florida’s roads is compelling reason to carry significant insurance coverage to protect yourself.

You may only hope that a driver who is liable for causing the accident carries significant bodily injury liability (BI) insurance. This is one instance in which someone else’s insurance will cover you, even if you do not have insurance.

In addition, you may be found to be at fault to some degree for the accident, and assigned a percentage of the blame. Even if you are injured, you could be sued by other injured parties.

Carrying sufficient BI coverage can help shield you from some or most of this. BI liability insurance also pays for your legal defense costs should an injured party sue you.

Uninsured Motorist or UM

If the person who caused the accident does not have any liability insurance or does not have enough insurance, you may make a claim under the uninsured motorists/underinsured motorists (UM/UIM) provision of your own insurance policy.

If you have more than one car, by “stacking” your insurance coverage, you can also increase the payment limits of your insurance for you and your family members.

Hiring an Orlando Personal Injury Attorney

If you suffer injuries in a multi-vehicle accident, you want to scrutinize all possible sources of insurance coverage to ensure you are fully compensated.

The Orlando car accident attorneys at Kramer Law will ensure that your legal rights are aggressively represented. We understand how insurance companies handle multi-car accidents and liability, and know the steps that need to be taken to get the results you deserve.

Contact Kramer Law

Do have questions about who is liable? Contact Kramer Law to schedule a free consultation.

Our team of experienced accident attorneys will act quickly and decisively to protect you and present a strong case for you.

Altamonte Springs Office
999 Douglas Avenue
Suite 3333
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
407.834.4847
Downtown Orlando Office
37 N. Orange Avenue
Suite 500b
Orlando, FL 32801
407.339.0269
CALL 855-KRAMER-NOW