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Who is Responsible for a Multi Vehicle Crash?

A multi-vehicle crash can take place in a split second. Similar to the domino effect, one vehicle crashing into another can cause motorists to rear-end drivers in lead vehicles. This can occur even if the other drivers are at a complete stop.

A person may sustain severe injuries in a multi-vehicle crash, often resulting in financial and emotional losses. It is crucial to determine liability in multi-vehicle crashes so that the appropriate party compensates you fairly for your injuries.

If you have fallen victim to a multi-vehicle crash, our Buffalo car accident attorneys are ready to assist you in filing your claim.

Causes of Multi-Vehicle Accidents

In 2021, the state of New York experienced 475 multi-vehicle crashes. With road congestion increasing and various distractions plaguing motorists, multi-vehicle pile-ups are occurring more frequently than ever before.

Several factors may contribute to a multi-vehicle accident, such as:

Road Conditions

Whether it be due to inclement weather, construction, or potholes, rough terrain can cause a driver to stop without notice, causing a rear driver to not stop in time.

Sun Glare

It is estimated that sun glare contributes to 9,000 car accidents each year. Bright sunlight can blind drivers, causing them to not see traffic stopped ahead.

Fatigued Drivers

One in 25 drivers report being fatigued while on the road at one time or another. Drowsy driving contributes to 328,000 accidents annually, causing 109,000 injuries. A drowsy driver will have difficulty focusing on the road and will experience slow reflexes; setting the landscape for a crash.

Distracted Drivers

Distracted driving took the lives of over 3,300 people in 2022. A driver who is sending a text, adjusting the radio dial, or applying make-up will not be able to take adequate precautions on the road.


No vehicle can stop on a dime, especially if you are driving at highway speeds. The faster you drive, the more time it will take your vehicle to come to a complete stop. It is estimated that speeding contributes to 29% of motor vehicle accidents.

Determining Liability in a Multi-Vehicle Crash

In multi-vehicle crashes, it is often not just the negligence of one driver that causes the crash. For example, in a multi-vehicle crash involving three vehicles, from front to back, Driver A, Driver B, and Driver C, sun glare may cause Driver C to collide with Driver B. However, Driver B may have a broken brake light. Due to the impact of Driver C crashing into Driver B, Driver B also collides with Driver A.

Driver B suffers catastrophic injuries and sues Driver C. Driver A decides to settle the claim through insurance, so is not privy to the lawsuit. Analyzing the above scenario, responsibility would be shared between Drivers B and C. Driver B decides to take the case to court, having a jury decide the degree of fault.

Under New York’s pure comparative negligence law, a plaintiff can recover damages no matter their degree of fault. This is unlike most states, which bar a plaintiff from recovery if the person contributed 50% or more to their injuries. In our driving scenario, Driver B (the plaintiff) can be compensated even if a jury determines that the driver is 99% at fault for the collision.

Speak with our Buffalo Car Accident Attorneys Today

A multi-vehicle accident can disrupt your normal life, forcing you to miss time from work and from the things you love. Our Buffalo car accident attorneys have helped numerous crash victims recover the damages they deserve.

Let us help you get back on the road to recovery. To get started, contact our office by phone or by filling out our online form. Offering complimentary consultations.