What Is a Secondary Car Accident in South Carolina?
Secondary car accidents are those accidents that are caused by another car accident. Often called chain-reaction car accidents or multi-vehicle accidents, these collisions ordinarily involve complex issues of law and fact, making the assistance of a dedicated South Carolina personal injury lawyer especially important. At the Steinberg Law Firm, our experienced team of personal injury lawyers is skilled at handling all types of Charleston motor vehicle accidents, including secondary car accidents. We pride ourselves in putting our clients first at every step of the recovery process, ensuring that they receive the dedicated representation they need and deserve.
An Example of a Secondary Car Accident
Often there are often several causes of secondary car accidents. For example, the cause of the original – or primary – car accident is undoubtedly relevant in these claims. However, in secondary car accidents, there are often additional causes leading up to the second collision.
For example, assume that a truck driver was distracted while driving on the highway and rear-ends Motorist 1. This collision results in both vehicles suffering major damage, and neither can be moved from the road. Next, assume that as Motorist 2 comes down the highway, they are not paying attention to the road and fail to see the wreckage of the previous accident. Motorist 2 slams into the back of the semi-truck. Then comes Motorist 3. Motorist 3 was not speeding and left plenty of room between themselves and Motorist 2. However, when Motorist 2 came to a sudden and immediate stop, Motorist 3 was left with no time to react, so they too crashed into the other vehicles.
In this example, the cause of the primary collision may be the truck driver’s distracted driving. Absent the truck driver’s negligence, it is likely that none of the subsequent accidents would have occurred. However, Motorist 2’s negligence also played a role in the collision, in that, had they been paying closer attention to the road, they could have started to slow in time to avoid the collision. Depending on the nature and extent of the injuries suffered by Motorist 1 and the truck driver, Motorist 2 could be partially liable for their damages. However, Motorist 2 certainly would be named as a defendant in a claim filed by Motorist 3. Of course, the amount of compensation Motorist 3 would be able to recover would depend, in part, on whether the jury thought that their negligence contributed to the accident. However, given that Motorist 3 was not speeding and left plenty of room, Motorist 3 would likely be able to recover from both the truck driver and Motorist 2.
Chain-reaction accidents most often occur on the highway, where vehicles are traveling at high speeds. Other common types of multi-vehicle accidents include:
• Vehicles that stall out in the middle of the road;
• Debris spread across the road resulting from another accident;
• Drivers who tailgate; and
• Sudden traffic stops or slow-downs.
Almost all multi-vehicle car accidents are the result of driver distraction. If motorists pay attention to the road and leave other drivers enough space to react in the event of the unexpected, chain-reaction accidents are unlikely to occur.
Those who have been seriously injured in a South Carolina chain-reaction car accident may be entitled to significant monetary compensation to help them cover their accident-related expenses. However, these cases can be tricky, as they often involve multiple parties and various insurance policies. Dealing with insurance companies in the wake of a secondary car accident can be an overwhelming experience. However, working with a knowledgeable attorney can make the recovery process much smoother and increase the chances of obtaining a fair settlement award without the need for a trial.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Charleston Car Accident Lawyer to Schedule a Free Consultation Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a South Carolina secondary car accident, call the Steinberg Law Firm today for a free case review. Steinberg Law Firm’s car accident lawyers are prepared to assist and support you through each step in the legal process to help you obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries. Our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys have been helping accident victims and their families pursue the compensation they deserve for more than 90 years. We look forward to speaking with you to see how we can help.
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