One driver, determined to not “lose time,” ran a red light at the intersection, and collided into another car. This has a domino effect on the other cars that were in motion, and by the end of the collision, multiple lanes of the road had been closed, and a total of seven cars were caught in various collisions. And it all happened because one person was in a rush.
At least one of the drivers required serious hospitalization. But an incident like this does bring up very pertinent questions. What exactly are your legal options when you are involved in a multi-vehicular collision? How is responsibility and blame assigned? What are YOUR options if you were hit by someone through no fault of your own, resulting in you hitting someone else?
Obviously, one of the biggest factors that will affect a multi-vehicle collision is the financial scale of it. Multiple insurance companies will be involved, with many different clients and interests. In the case of the Pinellas Park incident in May, that’s seven vehicles and their respective insurance companies, all totalling up damage and then trying to decide who is at fault.
Florida itself is a “no fault” state, meaning that insurance companies are expected to automatically cover any damage that is less than $10,000 without requiring processing in a court of law. This is one way to keep Florida’s courts clear of numerous unnecessary court cases, since vehicle mishaps are very common. In the case of a seven car collision across multiple lanes, it’s clear that damage is going to be extensive. The fact that one driver was hospitalized adds even more weight.
It is up to both the police and insurance companies to conduct an investigation. Things are not always as simple as they appear, even in a case like the Pinellas Park collision. While there is one person that sparked the accident, namely the driver that ran the red light, it still needs to be determined whether other drivers played a role in making the accident worse than it needed to be.
For example if one of the other drivers was not paying attention to the road, and was consulting his phone when he got hit, his lack of hands being at the wheel of the car may have contributed to an unnecessary collision. The exact sequence of events, and the actions of each specific driver need to be examined. It needs to be determined if there is any additional fault beyond the obvious traffic violation of the first driver who ran the red light.
There is a need to establish many things. Comparative or contributory negligence are factors, but mitigating circumstances and elimination of fault are just as important. An experienced car crash lawyer can provide critical guidance during such a trying experience and help victims to get the compensation they deserve, once the truth has been determined.