Chain reaction accidents occur when an initial crash leads to multiple other crashes, which may or may not involve the drivers who suffered the first accident. When a person suffers injuries in a chain reaction accident, it may be unclear who is responsible for that person’s harm. It may also be the case that multiple parties are at fault for a single injury. A Maine personal injury attorney can help you understand the complex questions of fault and compensation that arise from a chain reaction accident.
For example, as a recent news article reported, a chain reaction accident in Richmond, Maine, left five people injured. The accident happened on the highway when a car sideswiped a tractor trailer, causing the driver to lose control of his car and veer off the roadway. The drivers who witnessed the crash slowed down in traffic, which resulted in three cars crashing into each other. Five people suffered injuries, and one was transported to the hospital for life-threatening injuries. The driver who crashed into the tractor trailer was charged with operating his vehicle under the influence.
How Can You Recover Damages in a Maine Chain Reaction Accident?
People who suffer injuries in a Maine chain reaction accident can bring a negligence lawsuit to recover damages against the other parties involved in the crash. To succeed on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove the defendants each owed the plaintiff a duty of care, breached that duty through their action or inaction, that their carelessness caused the accident, and that the plaintiff suffered injuries as a result. When multiple drivers are involved, determining who caused an accident can pose a complicated question of both fact and law. It may be the case that multiple drivers have some portion of responsibility for the accident. At the same time, each driver may not be equally at fault for all crashes that occur in a chain reaction accident.
Rather than limiting fault to a single responsible party, Maine law allows injured victims to sue multiple parties for the same accident. In a lawsuit involving multiple defendants, Maine holds defendants jointly and severally liable to the plaintiff for the full damages amount the plaintiff is seeking. What this means is that each defendant is independently liable for the entire damages amount, as opposed to a smaller amount proportionate to their level of fault for the accident. However, Maine allows a defendant to request that the jury assign a percentage of fault for the accident to each defendant.
Can Plaintiffs Recover Damages in Maine if They Are at Fault for the Accident?
Under a scheme known as modified comparative negligence, Maine law allows plaintiffs to recover damages if they are less than 50% at fault for the accident. If a plaintiff is 50% or more at fault, Maine law bars the plaintiff from recovering any damages. Under these complex circumstances, an experienced Maine personal injury attorney can help gather evidence and develop a case theory to argue that you are less than 50% at fault.
Have You Been Injured in a Chain Reaction Accident in Maine?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries from a chain reaction car accident in Maine, contact the personal injury attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. Our attorneys possess years of experience in complex cases involving various types of traffic accidents. Through our zealous representation, we have helped clients receive the compensation they need and deserve. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our team, call our office today at 1-800-804-2004 or contact us through our website.