Secondary car accidents, or multi-car collisions, occur when an initial accident creates unsafe conditions for other drivers – such as disabled vehicles, oil and fluid spills, damaged signs or other road hazards.
Secondary car accidents can have serious consequences for all motor vehicle occupants involved. While establishing fault in a clear-cut car accident can be reasonably straightforward, secondary car accidents may present significant challenges. Proving who was at fault can be tricky and may require a great deal of investigative research, or even accident reconstruction specialists.
However, it is often the case that secondary car accidents can also occur when drivers are distracted and unexpectedly “pile-up” with an existing collision.
Many factors can potentially contribute to secondary accidents, including drivers trying to avoid cars, people, and debris in a roadway. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), secondary car accidents mostly involve an impact to another motor vehicle or hitting a barrier.
Reasons and causes of secondary accidents can include the following:
- Drivers following too closely (tailgating)
- Spilled truck cargo from a large commercial truck or smaller truck
- Sudden stopping or swerving
- Stalled vehicles still in the roadway
- Sideswiping accidents
- Slowing down to look at the accident
Secondary accidents typically happen due to distraction and the curiosity of drivers who are trying to catch a glimpse of the primary accident. However, secondary car accidents may have potentially catastrophic consequences.
Determining Case Factors in Secondary Car Accidents
If someone else’s carelessness caused your accident and injuries, you could potentially recover a number of economic and non-economic losses. While the exact amounts and types of compensation will depend on the severity and permanence of any injuries, someone involved could potentially recover the following:
If another driver caused your car crash, you could receive all medical expenses incurred due to the accident, including future medical expenses. Compensation should include hospital stays, medical devices such as a wheelchair or crutches, prescription medications, surgeries, and physical therapy. If you suffered disabling injuries, you could potentially recover expenses for a home health aide or modifications to your home and car.
Loss of Income
Accident victims who suffered significant injuries may not be able to return to their careers for a considerable amount of time, if ever. Compensation from a personal injury lawsuit can potentially provide accident victims with compensation for loss of wages and future income losses. They could also potentially receive compensation for any loss of future earning potential.
Pain and Suffering
An accident victim can suffer from considerable pain and anguish after a serious accident. Pain and suffering can include any physical pain as well as emotional distress. Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or loss of life quality, for example, can be legally challenging to prove.
Damage to Property
If another driver’s negligence caused damage to the plaintiff’s car or the contents inside the vehicle, the victim should receive reimbursement for any repairs, the vehicle’s replacement value, and the same for the contents inside the car.
If you suffered harm and damage to your car in a secondary multi-vehicle crash, contact Harsh Law by calling (949) 257-2349. We can help you determine negligence and help you receive compensation for your injuries and losses.