What You Should Know About Multi-Car Accidents

A multi-vehicle accident can be simply defined as a collision that involves several vehicles. Many times, people refer to this type of traffic accident as “pile-ups,” especially when six or more cars are involved.

These accidents are common on highways where hundreds of vehicles travel side by side at high speeds.  This makes it difficult for many drivers coming toward an accident to stop at a safe distance, thereby, resulting in a collision with other vehicles ahead.

Multi-car accidents are most likely to occur in conditions where road visibility is reduced by fog, rain, or snow. Under these circumstances, drivers must be all the more careful and extra alert. However, there are still some drivers who are not fully aware of how dangerous the roads are.

In many multi-car accident cases, drivers do not have much time to make a decision to avoid hitting vehicles ahead of them. Most hit the brakes too late, swerve into other lanes, and skid because of panicked driving. Sometimes vehicles swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid a collision only to end up in a horrible chain reaction and cause a larger pile-up. It is no surprise that multi-car accident is tagged as one of the deadliest accidents on the road.

Multi-Vehicle Accident Causes

According to a recent evaluation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 13,000 fatalities occurred in multi-vehicle accidents involving passenger cars—accounting for more than 40% of motor vehicle accidents annually.

The data show that the fatalities reported in these accidents were a combination of the following types of impacts:

  • Collisions from the rear
  • Collisions from head-on
  • Collisions from side-impact
  • Collisions from sideswiping

While the report showed these extremely high fatality numbers in multi-car pile-ups, more than 14,000 fatalities were caused by single-car accidents, defined as rollover and non-roll over crashes.

Establishing Fault in Multi-Car Pile-ups with Fatalities

Determining who’s responsible in a multi-car pile-up can be more complex compared to a collision that involves one to three vehicles. Even insurance companies are unable to quickly establish the liability of each driver or the cause of the crash which is why many cases end up in court. The court can look deeper into the case, provide proper judgment, and determine appropriate compensation.

Nevertheless, many states comply strictly with their “contributory negligence” regulations, allowing them to rule out fault by saying that if a person is at least 1% at fault for any portion of the accident they cannot receive any compensation as a result of the accident. Other states follow the “comparative negligence” regulations wherein the amount of compensation each driver receives is based on the percentage of fault.

Some states carry a clause of no-fault if someone is involved in a multi-car pile-up. In these states, you should immediately take action and help yourself right away.

Like other traffic accidents, multi-car collisions require evidence. The person who can present the best listing of evidence is typically the winner and the person compensated at the higher monetary value, whether there is a fatality or not. The primary evidence reviewed falls into the negligence category and can be declared as either contributory or comparative.

The previously outlined types of negligence can be broken down into the following categories:

Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence states that if a party is at least 1% at fault (regardless if it’s a single-car or multi-car collision), no compensation will be received from other drivers even if they share fault.

Pure Comparative Negligence

As mentioned earlier, some states follow the comparative negligence rule. Even in a multi-vehicle accident, the degree of monetary compensation is directly affected by the percentage of fault.

Modified Comparative Negligence

At least thirty-three states apply the modified comparative negligence rule in cases of multi-vehicle accidents. There are two types of negligence that fall into this category, namely:

50-Percent Rule

The 50-percent rule outlines that a driver with injuries who is determined to have less than 50% liability in the collision may seek recovery of monetary losses against other drivers who collided with their vehicle. However, if you are at least 50% or more at fault for the accident, you do not have the right to claim any compensation from the accident.

51-Percent Rule

In this rule, the injured driver, be it a single-car or multi-car, is entitled to seek monetary compensation if 50% or less responsible.

Multi-vehicle accident claims can be quite a complicated process. If you or someone you know becomes involved in a multi-car accident, it’s advisable to contact an experienced lawyer to better understand your rights as well as the applicable laws.


motorcycle accident victim

First Steps One Should Take if Victim of a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycles are a popular form of transportation but also one with a high degree of danger, and the statistics make this clear. There was an 8.3 increase in motorcycle deaths in the United States in 2015 compared to 2014, with 4,976 people killed. In 2015, 88,000 people were injured, a decline from 2014’s number of 92,000. Nonetheless, those figures are sizable considering that 8.4 million motorcyclists were operating in the United States in 2014. Should you end up being the victim of a motorcycle accident, you will want to take the proper measures to ensure you get what you are entitled to legally.

Contacting Law Enforcement and Insurance

Call the police and (if the injuries are severe enough) an ambulance right away, as you will need to file an accident report. Then, get in contact with your insurance provider as soon as possible. Ideally, you will want to do this at the scene of the accident. Give your insurance provider information such as the make, model, and license plate number of your motorcycle, as well as any injuries you may feel. If there is another person involved, exchange insurance information with them.

Remember: no matter what, you do not want to admit fault, particularly not when on the phone with your insurance provider, as they are likely to be recording your call. Any statements you make should be considered significantly. You might be disoriented following the accident, which makes it all the more imperative that you don’t say anything that could jeopardize your chances of compensation.

Determining Who is at Fault

To receive compensation for your accident, you must not be liable for the injuries you or another person received. If your negligence is the cause, such as operating your motorcycle under the influence of alcohol and crashing it into someone else’s vehicle, you won’t have a case. In fact, if you end up causing injury to another person and their vehicle/other personal property, then you will be held liable.

Additionally, you may face severe legal consequences for your actions, such as driving under the influence and reckless driving charges. If you were practicing proper motorcycle safety and were injured due to the negligence of another person, you should be able to proceed with your case fairly easily.

Remember: the more you practice proper motorcycle safety, the less likely you are to be injured in the first place. This includes: wearing a helmet, slowing down in hazardous conditions, and staying vigilant. Sometimes things happen without warning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t minimize your risk significantly.

Receiving Compensation

After you file your claim with all the necessary information, wait for your insurance provider’s report. Your benefit will depend on factors such as:

  • Severity of Injuries;
  • Damage to your Motorcycle;
  • Who was determined to be at Fault;

You will need to see a medical professional as soon as possible, even if you don’t feel like it’s severe enough to warrant medical attention. The worse your injuries are, the more compensation you should be entitled to receive. Motorcycle accidents can be devastating and might require you to spend a few hours in an emergency room or several weeks/months in a hospital bed.

If you are injured in a way that significantly limits or eliminates your ability to go through life as you were previously (i.e. loss of limbs, paralysis, inability to work), you should be entitled to much more than you would be if you simply had some bruises and bleeding.

Damage to Motorcycle

While your personal health is the most important thing to keep in mind after an accident, you should also be concerned about the shape your motorcycle is in. If it has been damaged or destroyed in the accident, you will want to report that in your claim so you can receive compensation for it.

Some insurance providers might attempt to get you to use one of their own, contracted mechanics. Instead, you should find a qualified mechanic in your immediate area. Once you get an estimate from the repair shop, you will need to send it to your insurance provider for their approval.

Insurance Provider Finding You at Fault

Even if you know that you are not at fault for the accident, that doesn’t mean your insurance provider will necessarily agree. Again, you should not admit fault. However, you should ask them if they are holding you liable. If they are, review the claim and file an objection as soon as possible. Reading the fine print is essential at a time like this. If your insurance provider still refuses to revise their decision, then you will need to contact an attorney who specializes in motorcycle accident cases.

Finding a Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Vastola & Associates., we specialize in (among other areas) cases involving injuries from motorcycle accidents. Should you need expert legal assistance to receive your compensation, we will provide it. Our dedication and devotion to our clients are essential when it comes to winning court cases such as these. Your health and livelihood are unmeasurably important to us. If you are someone you know is injured in a motorcycle accident, please contact our offices as soon as possible.

victim of an accident

How To Handle Being The Victim Of An Accident

Every day people experience accidents they didn’t anticipate. Once an accident does happen to them, they are forced to deal with it. An accident victim may not realize why the insurance company they’ve faithfully paid premiums to will try to offer as little as possible for their claim. They may not understand why an insurance company wants them to sign documents giving up individual rights in an accident. It’s usually a time when people want to focus on recovering from their injuries and try to put their life back together the way it was before the accident. It’s also a time when accident victims would experience quite a few benefits from having a personal injury attorney work to protect their interests.

Case Value

It’s possible for an individual not to know or understand the value of their case. They may not ultimately realize what can be paid to them as a cause of their accident. It’s more than knowing a dollar amount for property damage and medical bills. A person also needs to know what a disaster has cost them regarding lost wages as well as mentally and emotionally.

Compensatory Damages

Most of the damages an individual can be paid for are considered compensatory. They are designed to compensate an injured person for what they lost as a result of the accident. It is a way to try and make a plaintiff whole monetarily. There are compensatory damages that are easy to assign a dollar amount. This includes medical bills as well as property damage. It will take a trained attorney to know how to put a dollar amount on pain and suffering correctly.  An accident could also result in the loss of future earnings and require medical care far into the future.

Punitive Damages

The cause of a person’s accident may be gregarious or utterly careless, and a jury may award a plaintiff punitive damages. The goal of this type of award is to punish a defendant for their negligent behavior. It is designed to have an impact on a defendant’s finances. Punitive damages are intended to act as a deterrent to others who may behave the same way as the respondent. Most states do have a cap on some punitive damages that can be awarded. This type of award will be given to a plaintiff in addition to any compensatory award. An experienced attorney will know the kind of situation where it would be appropriate to seek punitive damages.

Contributory Negligence

There are many laws that cover comparative negligence in an accident. This makes it possible for individuals who have been injured in an accident to recover compensation even if they are partly at fault for the crash. Depending on the degree of misconduct, it could impact a person’s ability to recover for all damages. In some cases, they may not be able to obtain any compensation at all. It is possible in many situations for a plaintiff to recover for damages if they were less negligent than the defendant.

Correctly Handling An Accident


After an accident occurs, it is important for a person to feel safe as soon as possible. If it is a car crash, a person needs to move to the shoulder of the road and get away from traffic. If it’s another type of accident, and a person is not severely injured, they need to make their way to a safe location.


If there are others involved in the accident, and a person can check on them, this needs to be done. When anyone is injured, first aid needs to be administered. It’s time to call 911 and get help as soon as possible. Even minor symptoms experienced after an accident (such as dizziness) need to be checked by a medical professional.


When police officers show up at an accident, the accident report they provide is essential when dealing with a car insurance company. A person should cooperate with law enforcement. They should never admit to fault or blame another person at the scene of an accident. It is best to let the police gather evidence and objectively record the accident scene. Law enforcement may provide their opinion on who was at fault for the crash. Police reports have been wrong and may be able to be corrected.


After a vehicle accident, it is essential to obtain as much information as possible. Getting the names of the driver and passengers involved in the accident is important. License plate numbers are also significant for the crash file. Ask for insurance information. Try to record the make and model of vehicles that were involved in the accident. Mark the location of the accident and get contact information for all eyewitnesses.


It’s important for accident victims to obtain any incident or accident reports provided by law enforcement. It’s also important to get any reports filed by other drivers to help with a claim. This will be a good time to speak with an experienced attorney. They will know what to do when it comes to handling an insurance company.


It is important to document as many things as possible about the accident. An individual needs to write down every detail they can remember regarding the crash. The names of any insurance investigator as well as law enforcement officers examining the accident need to be recorded. Keep records of the dates, times and names of individuals spoken to at an insurance company. Record a short description of any type of conversation that takes place. Maintain a record of any expenses involving an accident such as parking, repair, transportation and more.

Legal Assistance

Unless someone is experienced with insurance law, they may find dealing directly with an insurance company a bit confusing. This is a situation where an accident victim needs someone on their side who knows the law. A legal professional who understands the process and can help guide them toward the fair settlement they deserve. Law Offices of Vastola & Associates. can help you throughout the entire process.

car accident

What To Do In Case Of A Car Crash

Traffic accidents are currently on the rise in the United States today. High volume traffic and the use of electronic devices while behind the wheel are two common causes of car accidents. According to the Center For Disease Control or CDC, approximately 1,161 people are injured daily in accidents that involve distracted driving. The following is an overview of necessary steps to take after being part of a car crash. If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident, you may benefit from speaking with a personal injury attorney to discuss your rights.

What Do I Have To Prove?

If you want to obtain compensation for injuries you sustain in a car accident, there are certain facts you must be able to demonstrate:

  • The Other Driver Was At Fault For The Accident;
  • The At-Fault Driver Acted In A Negligent Or Careless Way And Caused Damage or Harm;
  • You Were Injured In The Accident;
  • Your Injuries Were Indeed Caused By The Accident And The At-Fault Driver.

In some cases, both drivers may have a certain percentage of responsibility for the crash. When this happens, you may receive a reduced amount of compensation due to your negligence. However, the law governing this area varies from state-to-state, this being one reason you may want to speak with an attorney.

What Is Considered Negligent?

Proving a driver acted negligently is not always easy. However, some common causes of negligence include:

  • Speeding while adverse weather conditions or in areas where it is forbidden;
  • Impaired driving after consuming toxic substances;
  • Operating below the speed limit;
  • Failure to yield the right of way;
  • Not signaling properly when turning or changing lanes;
  • Inability to obey traffic signals;
  • Disregarding inclement weather while driving;

Aggressive driving on the road can also be considered negligent if it causes an accident and harms other drivers or participants in traffic. Some examples of aggressive driving include:

  • Excessive quick lane changes;
  • Driving over the speed limit of the area;
  • Improper passing in areas it is forbidden;
  • Using the emergency lane to pass ahead of other vehicles;

What If My Car Was Defective?

Car manufacturers have a responsibility to make sure the vehicles they produce are safe both for the driver and for other people in traffic. If you are injured due to a vehicle defect, you may be entitled to compensation under the product liability law. This law allows consumers to sue the manufacturer for selling a product that was unsafe and resulted in the injury of the user and his family if this is the case.

Statute Of Limitations

Every state has a time limit on how long you have to file a lawsuit after an accident. In most cases, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim in court. There is an exception in cases where your injuries were caused by a government employee or official. In these cases, you only have six months to file your claim. Since personal injury law can be complex, you may consider consulting an attorney to avoid losing the ability to present your case if the statute of limitations has passed.

What Am I Entitled To Recover?

You may be eligible to recover certain expenses after an accident. Some of these expenditures include:

  • Ambulance Fees;
  • Doctor Bills;
  • Unpaid Hospital Costs;
  • Therapy Bills;
  • Cost Of Medical Devices;
  • Transportation Costs.

In addition to expenses you incur as a result of the accident, you may be able to collect money for other damages like:

  • Emotional Pain And Suffering;
  • Loss Of Companionship;
  • Disfigurement;
  • Lost Wages;
  • Permanent Disability.

What If I Cannot Return To Work?

If you are unable to go back to your previous job and are permanently disabled, a lawyer may be able to help you. Your attorney can accurately calculate the amount of money you would have made if you had continued working in your field. This is known as future lost wages, and you may be entitled to recover money because you cannot return to work in your natural capacity. You may also be able to receive compensation if you cannot return to your line of work because of your injuries and will suffer a loss in wages over the course of your entire career.

Can A Lawyer Help Me?

Personal injury cases are often confusing and stressful. It is not always easy to understand how the law works, especially when you are dealing with injuries you sustained during the accident. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal maze in a car crash case by:

  • Hiring Investigators To Check All The Details Of The Accident;
  • Speaking With The Insurance Company;
  • Gathering Information From Medical Experts;
  • Calculating Your Expenses To See How You Can Be Compensated;
  • Adding Up Your Future Lost Income;
  • Negotiating With The Insurance Company For A Settlement;
  • Filing Your Case In Court;
  • Representing Your Interests In A Trial;

If you have been hurt in a car accident, you don’t have to face it alone. Consult an experienced personal injury attorney for help. During a consultation, the attorney will evaluate the facts surrounding your case and give you the best possible advice. This way, you are aware of all the options available to you under the law. Being hurt in an accident can lead to anxiety and depression as time goes on. Having someone to look out for your best interests will ease your mind so you can put your energy into your recovery.

Loss Adjuster Inspecting Car Involved In Accident

10 Things You Should do After a Car Accident In Jupiter, Florida

The adrenaline, shock and potential external or internal injury people experience as a consequence of a car accident could obstruct reason. People tend to get emotional, fearful and chaotic because they might not know how to manage a car accident scene and what to do next. But this is exactly when it is important to remain calm. Here is what you should do after a car accident.

  1. Stay at the Scene

The drivers and passengers should remain at the scene. Even though the accident might initially look like a minor collision because of no immediate obvious injury, it is important to stay and correctly assess the damages. Examine all the people that were involved in the accident and make sure they are able to breathe and move properly. If a person experiences serious pain, do not move them before medical help arrives. If people are hurt, it is important to wait for the police and offer all the needed information about the accident. Fleeing the scene is called „hit-and-run” and might have serious legal consequences like suspension or cancellation of your driver license or even imprisonment.

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