How insurers decide liability in a multi-car accident

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2022 | Personal Injury |

Multi-vehicle accidents are indeed the most complicated crashes on Texas roadways, and especially when a tractor-trailer rig is involved. This can be both good and bad, as truckers are required to carry extensive liability insurance protection. The fact that trucking companies and private owner-operators have significant insurance means that many times it impacts payouts even when a trucker is not largely at fault. Liability determination usually comes down to a few primary factors that are evaluated by both local law enforcement officers and legal counselors.

Law of vehicular control

The most fundamental rule of the highway is the law of vehicular control. All drivers are required to maintain control of their vehicle at all times, including when moving backwards or stopping. This also includes the ability to judge distances and know when to brake for maximum stopping effect within plenty of time based on vehicle weight and momentum. The desired result is minimizing motor vehicle accidents.

Reasonable driving decisions by a prudent driver

The term “reasonable” is one of the most overused words in the legal dictionary, but it is so for a specific reason. Much of driving skill is making the best decision at the right time. This includes using signal indicators, ensuring that all mechanical functions of a vehicle are operable, and beginning the stopping process in a reasonable time and following distance. Common sense prevails, and especially when the timeline of the accident is being analyzed regarding stopping, turning, and maintaining a reasonable and legal speed on the road. All personal injury attorneys evaluate these aspects of a collision when crafting cases for clients.

These are not the only factors considered when a motor vehicle accident is being evaluated for fault. There is a fraud scheme called “crash for cash” where drivers stop short on purpose to force a trailing vehicle into them, then claiming whiplash injuries that are difficult to detect and diagnose.