California sees its fair share of pile-ups, and these can be a nightmare for the drivers and passengers involved. They also become a nightmare from a legal standpoint as it can be hard to determine who was at fault and to what degree. Below is a brief outline of what would be involved in the process.

Most multi-vehicle crashes are chain reactions of rear-end collisions. In such cases, those who are rear-ended simply determine who initiated the chain reaction: for example, a driver who was speeding, following too closely to the vehicle in front, driving too fast in fog or darkness or driving while drowsy. So if Driver A is hit by a blameless Driver B, who was hit by a negligent Driver C, then Driver A (and B, for that matter) may pursue a claim against Driver C.

However, it could be that Drivers B and C were negligent, in which case they can both be named as defendants in Driver A’s personal injury lawsuit. Even the partially negligent Driver B could sue Driver C, assuming that B’s degree of fault does not exceed C’s. Regardless of who was at fault, one would need evidence to determine it. This evidence can include the police report, the findings of crash investigators and eyewitness testimony, including that of the passengers.

When the victims of car accidents feel they have good grounds for a third-party insurance claim, they may do well to consult an attorney. The attorney might assist with the gathering of evidence and the negotiating of a settlement with the auto insurance companies. If the insurance company’s legal team refuses to pay out a reasonable amount, then victims may take the case to court. Claims that are successful might provide coverage for lost wages and the cost of medical care.