The Experienced Multi-Vehicle Accident Lawyers in Queens, New York
Any car accident can leave someone with injuries. When two or more moving vehicles collide, especially at higher speeds, the force of impact can result in significant injuries. You should seek medical attention promptly. The costs of recovering from your injuries can be substantial.
Navigating New York’s insurance laws after a multi-vehicle accident can be a challenge. You don’t need the stress and uncertainty of dealing with insurance companies if you are trying to recover from serious injuries. You can make the process easier by seeking the guidance of an experienced multi-vehicle accident lawyer at The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C.
Our experienced Queens multi-car accident lawyers will be ready to review your accident and discuss whether your injuries make you eligible to move beyond New York’s no-fault insurance system and file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. We can help you evaluate the situation and understand your rights at no charge. To speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys, contact our office for a free initial consultation.
How Common Are Multi-Vehicle Car Crashes?
Multi-vehicle car crashes are quite common in New York with the stop-and-go traffic and aggressive drivers. The New York Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR) reports there were almost 62,000 crashes statewide involving multiple vehicles in a recent year.
Of the multi-vehicle accidents, 407 crashes involved at least one death, and 4,735 crashes involved at least one serious injury.
At the national level, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports there were more than 4.8 million crashes involving at least two moving vehicles in just one year. Multi-vehicle crashes accounted for 71.4 percent of all accidents that year. There were 1.36 million multi-vehicle accidents with at least one injury.
Types of Multiple-Vehicle Car Accidents
There are some common types of multi-vehicle accidents we see at our firm, such as:
- Chain reaction – A chain-reaction accident occurs when two vehicles collide, and the initial collision leads to subsequent crashes. Chain-reaction collisions are common when traffic slows suddenly on New York City’s congested highways and expressways and one car rear-ends another vehicle, pushing the second car into the car in front of it. The initial impact typically causes a domino effect of rear-end collisions.
- Vehicle swerving into another lane – If a driver makes an improper lane change, the driver may hit a car in the lane they’re trying to move into. This may cause the second car to swerve and hit another nearby vehicle. Multi-vehicle crashes like this are dangerous because they often happen at high speeds. A multi-vehicle collision can cause one or more of the vehicles to leave the road and hit other objects or people.
- Hit-and-run – Some multi-vehicle crashes involve hit-and-run drivers. These collisions can happen in traffic. An intoxicated driver may weave lanes, sideswipe multiple vehicles, and try to flee the scene. If the hit-and-run driver is not apprehended, your uninsured motorist coverage may help pay for the costs of a hit-and-run accident.
Causes of Multiple-Vehicle Crashes
Many factors can lead to a multiple-vehicle crash including:
- Adverse weather conditions – In the rain, snow, or icy conditions, drivers have a harder time controlling their vehicles and slowing down safely. It takes more distance for a car to stop on slick pavement. This means it is more likely that a car will rear-end another vehicle and cause a chain-reaction accident. Bad weather can cause a multi-vehicle accident if a driver loses control while merging, changing lanes, or trying to pass, setting off a multi-vehicle accident.
- Speeding – Drivers who exceed the posted speed limit have less time to react to changes in traffic conditions and are more likely to cause a multi-vehicle accident. Speeding drivers have longer stopping distances and are more likely to make a mistake that could lead to an accident. For instance, a speeding driver might overlook a car in their blind spot when merging lanes, leading to a multi-vehicle accident when they try to move into a different lane.
- Traveling too close together – Tailgating in New York City traffic is one of the most common causes of multi-vehicle crashes. If you have multiple cars closely following one another, sudden braking by any of the drivers may cause a chain-reaction crash. Even if the drivers in front stop safely, the driver in the rear may cause a multi-vehicle accident if they plow into the car in front of them.
- Nowhere for a vehicle to go – Drivers sometimes cause multi-vehicle accidents if they try to merge when they have nowhere to go. A driver attempting to merge onto a crowded highway might collide with one or more vehicles and cause a chain-reaction accident.
- Rubbernecking – Drivers who are not watching where they are going are much more likely to cause an accident, including a multi-vehicle accident. A driver who is looking at traffic in the other lane or an accident on the side of the road may rear-end a vehicle in front and set off a chain reaction. An inattentive driver may drift in their lane and sideswipe another car nearby, causing the second vehicle to hit someone else.
- Construction zone speeding – Speeding is especially dangerous when drivers do it while passing through construction zones. Traffic lanes are often narrowed in construction zones, which leaves less margin for error if a driver makes a mistake. Lane shifts and traffic backups can cause collisions if drivers are not paying close attention to the road conditions. Construction zones also have their special dangers, including roadside signs and markers, heavy construction vehicles, and workers who can get hit by careless drivers.
Injuries Commonly Caused by Multi-Vehicle Car Crashes
Multi-vehicle car crashes often lead to severe injuries for anyone involved.
Some common injuries from multi-vehicle accidents include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Damage to joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons
- Crushed, severed, or amputated limbs
- Damage to internal organs
- Internal bleeding
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Liability for Damages Caused by a Multi-Vehicle Car Crash
Multi-vehicle accidents can be more complicated to resolve if they involve serious injuries. With more vehicles involved, it can be hard to figure out what triggered the crash. An investigation may be needed.
You will generally file a claim first with your own no-fault insurance. Under New York’s no-fault insurance system, you’ll file a claim against your own Personal Injury Protection policy for your initial medical expenses. All drivers registered in New York are required to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. However, the benefits of PIP coverage may not be sufficient to cover the full extent of your losses if you sustained significant injuries.
Before you can file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver, you’ll have to show that you suffered serious injuries or that the cost of your injuries exceeded the coverage limits of your PIP coverage. Getting advice from an experienced Queens car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and help you build a stronger case for compensation. A car accident attorney can launch an investigation, identify all the insurance carriers involved, and handle the insurance paperwork while you focus on healing from your injuries.
You may be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim after a serious multi-vehicle accident, even if you were partly at fault for the accident. However, any compensation you were awarded would be reduced according to the percentage of fault that you were assigned for the accident.
Contact a Multi-Vehicle Crash Lawyer Today
If you’re having trouble getting the money you need after a multi-vehicle accident, The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., can help by reviewing your crash and discussing your legal options. Contact us to speak to one of our Queens car accident attorneys now.