What is a Chain Reaction Accident?

Understanding Chain Reaction Accidents in New Jersey

Last month in Edison, New Jersey, 10 people were injured in a chain-reaction accident. The accident occurred when a tractor-trailer ran a red light and struck eight vehicles that were waiting in rush hour traffic. While one of the people injured was listed in critical but stable condition, the other nine individuals only received minor injuries. This is just one of the many ways in which a chain reaction accident has occurred in New Jersey. Because these accidents frequently involve complicated liability issues and serious injuries, it is critical to contact a skilled accident attorney if you are involved in a chain reaction crash.

How Chain Reaction Accidents Occur

There are a number of ways in which chain reaction accidents happen. One of the most common ways is when one vehicle collides with a second vehicle and pushes the second vehicle into a third vehicle. Another common way in which chain reaction accidents occur is when an obstacle suddenly appears in the middle of the road and leads vehicles to crash into other vehicles that have already collided with the object.

Who is Responsible for a Chain Reaction Accident

Chain reaction accidents frequently involve complicated issues regarding which party should be found at fault for the accident. In some situations, multiple drivers can be found at fault in an accident. In some cases, a report written by a law enforcement officer can be influential in deciding which driver should be held responsible for an accident. Insurance companies will also often frequently attempt to downplay the responsibility of their insured driver in the accident. Fortunately, a knowledgeable accident attorney often knows what steps can be taken to make sure that the responsible driver or drivers are held responsible for the accident.

What is Modified Joint and Several Liability?

In addition to these many complicated issues surrounding chain reaction accidents, the state of New Jersey uses what is referred to as “modified joint and several liability.” This means that if a driver is less than 60% responsible for an accident, that driver is responsible for only paying for the percentage of damage equal to the driver’s level of responsibility. If a driver is more than 60% responsible for an accident, the driver can be held liable for all of the damage that is caused in a car accident.

How to Respond After a Chain Reaction Accident

If you are involved in a multiple vehicle accident, there are several steps that you should remember to follow, which include:

  • Immediately contacting law enforcement
  • If you are not injured, checking on any other drivers or passengers involved in the accident
  • Making sure to exchange insurance information with all the drivers involved in the incident
  • Obtaining witness information if anyone else saw the accident occur
  • Using a cell phone camera to take photographs of the scene of the accident including any damage to vehicles that occurred

Speak with a Skilled New Jersey Accident Lawyer

When chain reactions occur, you can be left facing a number of serious complications including large medical bills, lost wages, and other complicated issues. As a result, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced accident who understands what steps are necessary to make sure you have the greatest chance possible of receiving the compensation you deserve. Contact Ferrara & Gable today for assistance.