February 22, 2024

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Multi-Car Pileup in Georgia?

In typical car accidents, the negligent driver assumes liability, and their insurer must pay the damages, but what happens when multiple drivers contribute to the wreck? Multi-car pileups are more common than many realize.

In 2002, a 120-vehicle collision occurred in Georgia, resulting in one of the state’s largest vehicular liability investigations. So, can multiple parties be held liable for multi-car pileups in Georgia

Common Causes of Multi-Car Accidents

The main causes of multi-car accidents are as follows:

  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence
  • Poor visibility
  • Distracted driving
  • Tailgating
  • Severe weather
  • Slick roads
  • Road rage
  • Road hazards

Understanding the root cause of your multi-car accident is a vital step in determining liability in your case. Your auto accident claim lawyer can help you determine the cause of your accident to locate liability. 

Understanding Comparative Fault Laws in Georgia

Georgia is a comparative fault state, meaning multiple drivers can share different percentages of liability in auto collision cases. For example, if four cars crash, vehicle A may assume 70% liability, vehicles B and C may assume 15% each, and vehicle D may assume 0%. Vehicle A may have assumed the majority of fault because it initially rear-ended vehicle B, igniting the crash, while vehicles B and C failed to respond in time, contributing to the pileup. 

Georgia follows modified comparative fault, which means that any driver who assumes more than 50% of the liability cannot recover compensation for their damages. In the example above, vehicle A would not be able to recover any compensation because it assumed 70% of the liability, while vehicles B and C would be entitled to 15% of the recovery amount each. Comparative fault laws can become highly complex, so you must consult a Georgia car accident attorney after a multi-car accident. 

Can Multiple Cars Be Held Liable for a Pileup in Georgia?

Because of Georgia’s comparative fault law, multiple cars may be liable for a pileup in Georgia. The parties that may be held liable include the following:

· Any of the drivers involved in the wreck

· Vehicle manufacturers

· Part designers or manufacturers

· Auto shops who recently worked on vehicles involved in the wreck

· Local government bodies for negligent road maintenance 

Your Georgia personal injury attorney can help you investigate the accident to determine liability. 

What Happens If No One Is Liable?

In some cases, investigators determine zero liability. For example, if extremely poor visibility and thick fog caused many drivers to rear-end one another, Mother Nature would be the cause of the accident rather than specific parties. In this case, each driver must file claims with their insurers to recover damages.

Settling Damages With Multiple Insurance Companies

In typical accidents, you can settle damages by seeking compensation from the liable party’s insurer. Insurers split the damages based on percentages when multiple parties are at fault. Seeking compensation from multiple insurers is far more complicated, so you must work with a collision injury attorney to seek the full amount. 

Were You Involved in a Multi-Vehicle Accident? Contact a Georgia Car Accident Attorney Today

If you were involved in a multi-car crash and need legal help in Georgia, call The Foster Firm today at (404) 955-8910 to speak with a knowledgeable Georgia car accident attorney about your case.