On the night of November 8, a multi-vehicle crash near Pope Bend Road shut down eastbound I-71 for a significant period of time. Injuries were sustained, but luckily no deaths – which is remarkably lucky for a multi-vehicle crash. Crashes with more than two automobiles or trucks can be extremely dangerous simply because of the amount of metal flying around, and it can also be difficult to determine just who was at fault for an accident given how many actors are involved.
There are countless reasons why a multi-vehicle accident might occur at any given time, many of which are similar to the causes of single and two-vehicle accidents but are perhaps magnified. For example, adverse weather can cause many a car crash, but in a multi-vehicle situation, it may be magnified because one car may crash, and then another may crash into it, and so on. Someone who drives distracted or under the influence of alcohol may crash their own car, but other drivers shocked by the impact, or unable to react quickly enough, may crash as a reaction of sorts.
In certain crash situations, it may be possible to explore the possibility of a Texas Tort Claims Act lawsuit against the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) alleging poor road maintenance or construction. If, for example, an accident occurs around a bend, and no signs are posted to warn of the obstacle, TxDOT may wind up being held liable if another wreck occurs. The Texas Tort Claims Act grants citizens the right to bring suit against governmental entities if they do so over specific alleged negligence.
Hard to Determine Liability
If no other actor can be held liable, figuring out who to sue after a multi-vehicle crash can be difficult simply because so often, they occur in the blink of an eye. In navigating the aftermath of some crashes, it may be necessary to enlist accident experts to help reconstruct exactly what happened when, as without such concrete evidence, seeking compensation for your injuries can degenerate into “he said, she said” affairs. Your memory is unfortunately not good enough evidence for a court or an insurance company.
It is also important to try and determine who to bring suit against specifically because Texas as a state has abolished an old doctrine called joint and several liability. Joint and several liability is a common-law doctrine still upheld in several states, and it holds that if more than one defendant is found liable for a plaintiff’s injury, the plaintiff can try to collect the whole amount from any defendant. For example, if three defendants are found jointly and severally liable for $100,000 of plaintiff’s medical bills, that means the plaintiff can try to collect $100,000 from any of the defendants, rather than getting $33,333 from each. Without joint and several liability, if you sue the wrong person, you may wind up getting nothing at all for your trouble.
Seek Experienced Legal Help from a Texas Accident Attorney
While the multi-vehicle pile-up on I-71 appears to have been relatively injury-free, this is not the norm. If you have been harmed in a crash with more than two vehicles involved, contacting an attorney is a good idea because these cases can get very complex very quickly. The dedicated New Braunfels car crash lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm will sit down with you and try to help you decide where to go from here. Call us at 888-392-0039 to schedule an appointment today.