What happens when you’re caught in an accident…as a result of another accident? Residents of Jackson County found themselves answering that question days ago, when eight cars were caught in two accidents in a chain reaction crash.
Unfortunately, because chain reactions or multi-car pile ups involve several cars and drivers acting carelessly, bringing an insurance claim may be challenging. Here’s what happened in Jackson County—and what it can teach you if you were caught in a chain reaction accident.
Recently eight vehicles were involved in two linked crashes on U.S. 127 in Leoni Township.
Springport Police Officer George Truchan was driving in a marked police vehicle going northbound in U.S. 127 at Page Avenue. Then he was abruptly cut off by a 2007 Pontiac G7, causing Truchan’s vehicle to roll and hit the Page Avenue bridge. Truchan was pinned under the car and had to be freed by emergency personnel. Fortunately, he suffered only minor injuries, and the driver of the Pontiac G7, Richard Bullard, was uninjured.
Unfortunately, those in the next crash were less lucky.
At 8:10 a.m., just 30 minutes after the first accident, a second crash occurred on southbound U.S. 127 near E. Michigan Avenue as a result of the traffic backup from the first crash, while officers were still at the scene of the original crash.
A 67-year-old Brooklyn man was rear-ended by a 63-year-old Jackson man, with four more vehicles caught in the resulting chain reaction crash. The 63-year-old Jackson man was seriously injured and had to be taken to Henry Ford Allegiance Health, while everyone else was either uninjured or suffered minor injuries.
This story is an example of a chain reaction accident, which is a traffic accident that occurs when three or more cars are caught in a series of rear-end collisions, typically caused by the force of the first collision. The first driver collides into the next and so on until the accident concludes with a car that has no one else in front.
In this instance, Driver B rear-ends Driver A in front of him and is promptly rear-ended by Driver C, who was following too close to Driver B and could not stop in time. This may be complicated if the force of Driver B colliding into Driver A causes Driver A to rear-end the vehicle in front of him.
The driver who caused the original rear-end accident is often held liable for the entire chain reaction accident, though it can be difficult to determine liability. With the many subsequent chain reactions it is possible to hold multiple drivers partially liable.
You can be held partially liable if, for example:
However, you are not liable for another car rear-ending you if you were doing everything you were supposed to be doing. It is also possible that no one is held liable in chain reactions if there is “suddent and unexpected” inclement weather, road hazards, or if the original crash was caused by a medical emergency with the driver in that vehicle.
If you were caught in a chain reaction accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you need an auto accident attorney that will fight for you.
We have experience in over 120 trials in the state of Michigan and across the country, winning millions for our clients. But more than that, we take pride in treating every client with the care and respect of a family member, because when you’re going through a difficult time, you need more than an attorney. You need someone who cares.
If you need to speak with an attorney about your next steps after an accident, get in touch today to schedule your free consultation.