Chain reaction collisions are those that occur when three or more vehicles collide with one another. Generally, this occurs as a series of rear-end accidents that typically stem from the impact of the first collision. The injuries from a Maine chain reaction accident tend to be more severe than a two-vehicle crash because of the sudden force of multiple vehicles. However, while the initial collision may involve the first driver’s negligence, that does not necessarily negate the other parties’ contributory negligence. Chain reaction accidents tend to be challenging because it can be difficult to pinpoint every party’s negligence and apportion liability relative to their fault.
For example, a Maine news report described a 3-vehicle crash in Livermore Falls. The assistant fire chief of the town was riding his motorcycle when he approached a stopped car. While he was slowing down, an SUV slammed into his motorcycle. The force of the impact pushed the motorcyclist into the car in front of him. The collision ejected the motorcyclist from his seat, and he died upon impact. Law enforcement stated that they believe that the fire chief was wearing a helmet during the incident. Three minor children were passengers in the vehicle that crashed into the motorcycle. Police stated that the accident is still under investigation.
While it seems easy to blame the rear driver, more than one person is responsible for the accident in many cases. For instance, in the case above, it is unclear whether the car traveling in front of the motorcycle stopped suddenly. In that case, the head driver may be responsible for negligently stopped on a roadway. These cases require an in-depth analysis of the accident scene and typically require an accident reconstructionist.