Who Is at  Fault in a Pile-Up Car Crash?

pile-up car crash
Knowing fault is essential in a car accident case because it helps determine who is liable to pay compensation and suffer legal penalties.

The problem is that it’s challenging to prove who is at fault in a car crash, as the plaintiff must provide compelling evidence to support their claim. On the other hand, the defendant will try damaging the claim to reduce their compensation liabilities or dismiss the case.

Now, you may ask, what if you were involved in a car collision with multiple vehicles?

How can you determine fault in that complex case?

Read on to understand about determining fault in pile-up car accidents.

Determining Fault in a Pile-Up Car Accident

multi car accident

While it could be easy to determine fault in a regular car crash, it can become complicated when an accident involves multiple vehicles.

Imagine a blue car crashing into a red car in an intersection. The resultant impact forces the red car to collide with a third yellow car. At first look, the blue car is clearly at fault, but other factors may affect the case.

For example, imagine the blue car was overspeeding, and the red car ran the stoplight. The court may declare that both vehicles are at-fault, especially for damaging the yellow car.

You should thus hire a Burbank auto accident lawyer to help prove you are not at fault in a pile-up car crash.

Why It’s Vital to Determine Fault in Car Accidents

rear-end collisions

The compensation you will receive from a car crash lawsuit heavily depends on the faults determined in the accident. Depending on your local state, the court will follow the comparative or contributory negligence principles when awarding benefits.

  • Comparative Negligence

This legal principle revolves around rightfully distributing the liabilities among all the involved parties in an accident.

It means you and the other driver could share the accident fault depending on the situation. The compensation amount the plaintiff will receive then depends on the fault percentage the court awards to each party.

For example, suppose an overspeeding vehicle crashed into your car on a highway, and the other vehicle is clearly at fault. However, the court may award you a fault percentage if the other party proves you were distracted while driving.

Still following the example, suppose the court decides you deserve $10,000 compensation, but you are 30% at fault. It means the defendant is only 70% at fault, so the defendant has to only pay you $7,000 for benefits.

  • Contributory Negligence

auto accident

This principle assumes that both parties could avoid accidents if nobody were negligent while driving.

So, the plaintiff will not receive compensation if they share any fault in an accident. However, they will receive total compensation if they can prove they are not at fault.

For example, imagine a drunk driver crashing into your vehicle at an intersection. However, as you were overspeeding before the crossing, you could not stop at the traffic light.

The court could prove that you could have avoided the collision if you were driving at a legal speed, even if the other driver was drunk. You thus won’t receive any compensation, even if you were only 1% at fault.

Hire an Auto Accident Attorney in Burbank For a Pile-Up Car Crash Case


While it’s crucial to determine fault in a car crash when claiming compensation, it’s challenging when the accident involves multiple vehicles. You also must consider certain factors and provide compelling evidence to support your claim.

Hiring a Burbank auto accident lawyer helps investigate the pile-up car crash case and collect evidence. They will also represent you in court and prove you are not at fault to get the rightful compensation.

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