Multi-Vehicle Accident

Multiple-Vehicle Accident Lawyers in Vancouver, WA

Strong advocacy for the victims of multi-vehicle pileups in Vancouver & Battle Ground, WA

Multiple-vehicle accidents are intense. Not only can they lead to truly catastrophic injuries, but they always involve multiple insurance companies all trying to avoid blame. When the parties involved include national trucking companies – or even government entities – an already complex case can become even more challenging.

Multi-car wrecks require seasoned trial lawyers, because there are many additional factors that must be addressed in addition to who caused the accident. At Philbrook Law Office, PS, we have the skills, experience, and resources to handle these complex cases, form establishing liability to showing the full scope of your injuries. Call us in Vancouver or Battle Ground, WA today to get started.

How can we help?

What is a multi-vehicle collision?

Multiple-vehicle accidents involve three or more vehicles. Multiple-vehicle accidents can involve three or more vehicles of the same type (three cars, for example) or different vehicles (a truck, a car, and a motorcycle, for example).

One type of multiple-vehicle accident is a chain reaction accident where an initial crash causes one or more subsequent crashes. Another type of multiple-vehicle accident involves several crashes that may all happen at the same time – such as when truck cargo spills and all the nearby vehicles try to avoid the spill.

Chain reaction multiple-vehicle accidents

The most common type of multiple-vehicle accident is a chain reaction accident. For example, say several cars are waiting in a line for a traffic light to change from red to green. While the drivers are waiting, a distracted or speeding driver strikes the last car in line. The last car then strikes the car in front who in turn strikes the car in their front until the first car in the line is struck.

Chain reactions can also occur when Vehicle A strikes Vehicle B in any way (such as head-on or on the side), which then Vehicle A and/or B ends up striking additional vehicles (perhaps because they impact of the crashes sent them spinning out into traffic). The key factor is that the accidents happen sequentially, and each accident involves one common car to the prior crash.

Non-chain reaction multiple-vehicle accidents

Multiple-vehicle accidents can also happen when multiple vehicles collide with each other at the same time, or when different vehicles collide with each other after an initial accident. So, Vehicles A, B, and C all strike each other at an intersection, for example, or Vehicles D and E strike each other when trying to avoid that initial accident.

Why commercial trucks are often involved

Trucks are often involved in multiple-vehicle accidents in different ways. Due to the length and width of tractor-trailers, rigs, semis, and other large trucks, they can end up striking several vehicles at the same time. (Alternatively, several vehicles may collide with the truck at the same time.) A common example is when a truck jackknifes or rolls over. The truck cab could strike one car and the tractor could strike another car. Or several cars could strike each other as they try to avoid the truck which is now spread across the highway.

What makes multiple-vehicle accidents different than other types of crashes?

When multiple vehicles collide, there are many issues and complications:

  • There are multiple victims. The victims of multiple-vehicle accidents may include drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicycle riders. There are likely to be one or more victims in each vehicle in addition to anyone nearby who is outside of the vehicle.
  • There may be multiple defendants. The driver in every car in the accident may be a possible defendant. In addition, many other people and companies may be defendants including any employers; any trucking companies that requested the shipments, arranged the shipment, or provided trucks for the shipment; the owners of the vehicles; the Washington Department of Transportation or other state/local agencies; and any vendors who sold alcohol to someone who was a minor or visibly intoxicated and later caused the accident. Keeping track of all these defendants requires seasoned truck accident lawyers.
  • Determining liability may be more difficult. In most chain reaction accidents, the initial negligent driver (such as the speeding or distracted driver who struck the last car in a traffic line) is usually liable for all subsequent collisions. A truck driver who causes his truck to jackknife may be liable for all the accidents that occur after the jackknife. In many cases, though, multiple defendants may be liable. Washington requires that the fault of each defendant be apportioned.
  • There are more claims. Each victim does have the right to file a personal injury claim against the responsible defendants. The families of anyone who died have the right to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one(s).. Often, each case is tried separately, though may be times and reasons for trying all of the cases together. Depending on the circumstances, there may also be separate criminal charges filed against one or more people, and that can affect how and when a civil case proceeds.

The good news is that when multiple vehicles collide, and since all car and truck drivers are required to have liability insurance, this means there is a better chance that the responsible defendants will have enough insurance to pay for all your damages. The bad news is that each defendant will likely blame each other defendant. Until the responsibility of each defendant is determined, it can take a while to determine which defendant should pay some or all of your claim.

How is liability determined in multiple-vehicle accidents in Vancouver, WA?

Our seasoned trial lawyers guide you through each phase of the litigation process. We review the police reports, hire investigators to examine the accident site and cars, and conduct extensive discovery (written and oral questions and document requests) to help show the sequence of events that led to your vehicle being struck. We’re skilled at understanding and showing the fault of each responsible defendant.

When necessary, we work with traffic reconstruction experts in multiple-vehicle accident cases. These experts used engineering, computer graphics, and other means to visually show how multiple-vehicle crashes occur. The experts can present simulations of the actual events on virtually a second-by-second basis. We employ traffic reconstruction experts who are skilled at testifying before juries.

We do coordinate your case with the cases of other claimants when it is in your best interests and there is no conflict of interest. You can rest easy knowing that Philbrook Law Office handles all of this; all you have to focus on is healing.

How much time do I have to file my multiple-vehicle accident claim?

All personal injury and wrongful death claims must be filed within three years from the date of the accident. The best course is to contact our injury lawyers in Vancouver or Battle Ground, WA as soon as possible. This way, we can examine the accident site and speak with witnesses while everyone’s memories are fresh. We also want to ensure you are seeing the correct doctors for your injuries.

How much is my multiple-vehicle accident claim worth in Vancouver, WA?

We demand full compensation for everything Washington law permits. We review all your injuries with your doctors and all your financial losses with your employers, car repair companies, and others. Responsible defendants are normally required to pay for all your current and future damages that were caused by your multiple-vehicle accident including your:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income and benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of bodily function
  • Property damage
  • Loss of consortium (enjoyment of marital relations)
  • Any other damages that may apply such as punitive damages

We seek wrongful death damages when a loved one dies, which will also include funeral and burial expenses; lost financial support; loss of consortium for adults, and the value of the loss of society, guidance, comfort, and companionship your loved one would have provided.

We understand how much you need help with your bills and your injuries. We work with your doctors to document what injuries you have, what treatments you need and will continue to need, how much pain you’re in, any physical limitations you have, and what complications you may face. We have more than 20 years of experience fighting for personal injury victims and the families of loved ones in all types of vehicle accidents including multi-vehicle accidents.

Do you have a multiple-vehicle accident near me?

Philbrook Law Office maintains two locations for tour convenience:

  • 300 W. 39th Street in Vancouver, WA
  • 105 N Parkway Ave. Ste. 104 in Battle Ground, WA

We can also schedule phone or video consultations if you cannot travel and will make hospital visits when needed.

Speak with our experienced car, truck, and motorcycle accident lawyers today

At Philbrook Law Office, we understand the unique challenges and issues involved when multiple vehicles collide. We have a strong record of successfully negotiating just settlements and obtaining just verdicts in Washington State. To discuss your personal injury or wrongful death claim at one of our offices in Vancouver or Battle Ground, WA, please call us or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.