Long Island Chain Reaction Accidents
A chain reaction accident is potentially deadly type of vehicle accident that involves at least 3 vehicles. Chain reaction accidents are sometimes referred to as multi-vehicle accidents. The typical chain reaction accident involves a series of rear-end collisions, starting with the first vehicle hitting the second vehicle in the rear end. The second vehicle then hits the third vehicle in the rear end. In some cases a chain reaction accident involves both rear-end collisions and side collisions. Chain reaction accidents often involve more than 3 vehicles. While such accidents are associated with poor road and visibility conditions such as heavy rain, severe snowstorms or dense fog, chain reaction accidents also often occur due to driver negligence. If driver negligence sparked to chain reaction accident that left you or a loved one injured, contact an experienced Long Island Chain Reaction Accident Lawyer who will review the facts of your case and work closely with you to help you get the compensation to which you are entitled to based on the losses you suffered.Causes of Chain Reaction Accidents
While there can be a number of scenarios which may lead to a chain reaction accident, when there is a chain reaction collision, as explained in Mustafaj v. Discoll, 5 A.D. 3d 138 (2004), the presumption is that the rearmost driver is at fault. A common reason that the rearmost driver rear ends the vehicle in front of it, causing chain reaction accident is that the driver was following the vehicle too closely. Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1129, drivers are prohibited from following another vehicle "more closely than is reasonable and prudent." If a driver follows another car too closely, it is more difficult for that driver to slow down and stop in time to avoid an accident. Once a driver hits one car, the car that was hit may be pushed into the car in front of it. Depending on the force of the first collision and the number of cars in line, the chain reaction could end up damaging several cars.
In Passos v. MTA Bus Co., 2015 NY Slip Op 4916 (N.Y. App. Div., 2015), three vehicles were involved in a multi-vehicle accident on Second Avenue, between 78th and 79th Streets. The first vehicle was driven by DiPaoli, the middle vehicle, a truck, was driven by plaintiff Roberto Passos, and the rear vehicle, an MTA bus, was driven by defendant Victor Moses. DiPaoli testified that he was at a complete stop at a red light, and that he was hit twice in the rear. In this case the court noted that when approaching another vehicle from behind the law requires that drivers maintain a reasonably safe rate of speed and take care to avoid a collision. When a collision is a rear-end collision there is a presumption of negligence based on proof that a stopped car was struck in the rear.
While an icy or wet road, heavy fog and other weather conditions may affect visibility and make it more difficult to slow down, it is important to understand that a driver is not necessarily absolved of fault simply because of poor road conditions. For example, in Mitchell v. Gonzalez, 269 A.D.3d 250 (2000), plaintiff Mitchell's car was rear-ended by Gonzalez. As a result Mitchell suffered injuries. Gonzalez argued that he was unable to stop the car and avoid the accident because the road was wet. The court found that a wet roadway defense in sufficient to rebut the presumption of negligent. A driver must take into road conditions and maintain sufficient distance from another car so as to avoid collisions.Consequences of a Chain Reaction Accident
Negligent driving that causes a chain reaction accident may leave victims seriously injured. Common injuries include broken bones, head trauma, cuts and scrapes, back injuries and neck injuries. In the most severe cases, people are killed in chain reaction accidents. Serious injuries require extensive medical treatment and prevent the victim from working. The result is mounting medical bills and little income. However, New York law allows victims to sue to recover damages to compensate for losses. Through a personal injury lawsuit you may be able to recover compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering. In addition if your property was damaged in the accident, you can sue to recover compensation to repair or replace the property. If a family member died in the accident, then you may be able to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Chain reaction accidents are complicated with each driver believing another driver is at fault. However, an experienced Long Island Chain Reaction Accident Lawyer will be able to sort through the complex evidence in order to make sure your rights are protected. The staff at Stephen Bilkis and Associates has extensive experience representing clients injured in chain reaction accidents, head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, side collisions, sideswipe accidents as well as other types of vehicle accidents. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your car accident.