The moments right after a car accident can be confusing and frightening. Many people need several minutes to process what has just happened before they are able to begin reacting. When a secondary car crash happens just after the first, the situation can become even more complicated and difficult to manage. This type of situation may seem unlikely, or that it would require an extraordinary stroke of bad luck, but this is not the case at all. Secondary car accidents are probably more common than you might think, and are often a direct result of the first accident. If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle collision involving multiple vehicles, it is best to speak to an attorney as soon as you are able.
How Do Secondary Car Accidents Happen?
Secondary car accidents most commonly happen when another driver strikes an already crashed vehicle that remained in or near the roadway, although anyone outside a vehicle may also be at particular risk. Common reasons these secondary wrecks take place include:
Poor visibility – Especially when the initial crash happened because of fog, snow, heavy rain, or other conditions affecting visibility, there is a risk of a second collision. Drivers approaching the accident scene may not be able to see that there are damaged vehicles stopped up ahead until it is too late. Additionally, the lights or emergency flashers may not work after a crash, making accident vehicles hard to spot.
Disabled vehicles – If the initial wreck was so severe that the damaged vehicles cannot be moved out of the road, there is a real risk that another driver could strike a disabled car. People who are injured and unable to exit their cars are in particular danger.
Pedestrians – People who have been in less severe accidents often immediately get out of their cars and begin walking around the accident scene to inspect the damages. This can be quite risky in high-traffic or low-visibility areas. Other drivers may not be able to spot a pedestrian walking around, especially if they are looking at the accident vehicles. Pedestrian accidents can be extremely severe.
Who is Responsible for a Secondary Car Accident?
Determining liability after a secondary car accident can be a challenge, and will often require a skilled investigation by an attorney. In some cases, both the driver who caused the initial accident and the driver who contributed to the secondary wreck will share liability if they both acted carelessly. In others scenarios, the first at-fault driver could be mostly or completely to blame for the secondary collision. Alternatively, the secondary crash could be entirely the fault of the second at-fault driver. Who you can bring a claim against is heavily case-specific. Contact an attorney for guidance.
Call a Lake County Car Accident Attorney
If a secondary car accident caused or worsened your injuries, Barrington Injury Attorneys may be able to help you pursue additional compensation. Call us at 847-381-8700 when you are ready to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Barrington car accident lawyers. We will begin our investigation immediately to preserve your claim against anyone who may be responsible for your injuries.