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Single vs. Multi-vehicle Accidents: What You Should Know

By Michael London on October 08, 2018


Scene of a car accidentCar accidents are terrifying and, unfortunately for some, can cause life changing injuries or even fatalities. 

Sometimes car accidents only involve one car; others involve multiple cars. Regardless of how many vehicles are involved, the effects can be serious.

The car accident attorneys at Douglas & London offer representation to clients facing single versus multi-vehicle accidents in New York, NY. If you have been involved in a car accident, our team is ready to help you get the settlement you deserve.

Understanding Single vs. Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Car accidents can happen at any time and to anyone. Some accidents are isolated to one vehicle while others can involve two or more; even 70 vehicles as seen on a Tennessee highway in December of 1990.

Whether an accident involves one or more vehicles, determining fault is necessary for insurance purposes and filing further legal claims. Exploring the differences between single versus multi-vehicle accidents can help pinpoint a cause and increase understanding of how these accidents happen.

What Are Single Vehicle Accidents?

Single vehicle accidents are accidents that only involve one vehicle. Single vehicle accidents can happen to anyone. In some situations, single vehicle accidents are caused by the driver's own negligence. In other cases, a situation outside of the driver's control may result in an accident.

Some possible causes of single vehicle accidents include:

  • Driving while distracted
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving in poor weather conditions
  • Swerving to avoid an animal or other obstruction
  • Poor road conditions, such as large potholes
  • Mechanical defects

What Are Multi-Vehicle Accidents?

Multi-vehicle accidents are accidents that involve two or more other vehicles. Multi-vehicle accidents may be limited to two vehicles or extend to multi-car pile-ups.

As with single vehicle accidents, multi-vehicle accidents may be caused by one driver's poor judgment or may be triggered by outside factors.

Some common causes of multi-vehicle accidents include:

  • Poor visibility due to weather conditions
  • Icy or slippery roads
  • Driving while distracted
  • Driving while under the influence
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Mechanical malfunction

Injuries in Single vs. Multi-Vehicle Accidents

The extent of injuries in both single and multi-vehicle accidents can vary widely and largely depend on the severity of the car accident. The speed at which the collision occurred and whether an impact was head-on, a side-impact, or rear-impact can all affect the severity of injuries. 

It is possible for someone in either type of accident to come out with only a few scratches or bruises, while others may not be so lucky. Some possible injuries common to both single and multi-vehicle accidents include:

  • Broken bones
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Determining Fault

Determining fault in single and multi-vehicle collisions isn't always straightforward. Although it would seem that a single vehicle accident would be simple to figure out since only one driver is involved, other factors, like brake failure, weather conditions, and poor road conditions, can cause a good driver to be involved in an accident.

It can also be difficult to determine liability in multi-vehicle accidents, especially when more cars are involved. Trying to determine the root cause of a multiple car pile-up can be a long process that involves looking at all possible contributing factors.

As you can see, whether involved in a single or multi-vehicle collision, it can be difficult to determine fault, which is why it is important to contact an experienced car accident attorney. A car accident attorney can ensure the accident is thoroughly investigated to determine the liable party and hold them responsible.

Contact the Attorneys of Douglas & London

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, we encourage you to call our team at (212) 566-7500 to schedule a private consultation. Our personal injury attorneys will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve.

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