Houston Lawyers for Accidents Involving Multiple Cars
No case is too complicated for Smith & Hassler
A car accident involving multiple vehicles can happen fast and be nearly impossible to avoid. One minute you’re driving down fast-paced I-45 and the next you’re confronted with a wall of wrecked cars and trucks snarled across the highway.
Or maybe you were cruising down Texas Avenue and got hit by a distracted driver, and the tailgater behind him, while turning at an intersection.
A single wreck can quickly lead to a chain reaction multi-vehicle accident that involves anywhere from three to more than 100 vehicles. These types of crashes often happen on highways and at intersections.
For more than 30 years, Smith & Hassler, Attorneys at Law, has represented multi-vehicle accident victims. Texas roadways have seen some significant pileups in recent years, including
- A 10-car crash on I-45 More than 130-vehicle collision on I-35 that killed six people
- A three-car crash on US-380 that left one person dead in Magnolia
- A three-vehicle crash on East Freeway that killed two and injured four people
The injuries and damages that result from multi-vehicle crashes are often severe. If you were recently hurt or lost a loved one in a multi-car accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed though you’re almost certainly due compensation for your losses.
To access money to pay for things like past and future medical bills and lost wages, however, you need to navigate your way through the complicated insurance claims process. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone.
Let Smith & Hassler do the heavy lifting for you. While you regain your health and make decisions about recovery that will impact your family’s future for years to come, our law firm will dig into the details of the accident and get to the bottom of what happened.
Smith & Hassler finds evidence other attorneys may miss. After three decades serving the greater Houston area, we know how the local justice system works and how to get around insurance agent tactics.
Many people injured in multi-car wrecks have questions. Smith & Hassler offers free case evaluations to accident victims. It won’t cost you anything to talk to our firm about how the law applies to your specific situation.
In the meantime, here are some general answers to multi-vehicle wreck questions.
How is a multiple-vehicle accident different from a two-car crash?
For the most part, the same laws apply to both types of accidents. It’s the added drivers, businesses, and their individual lawyers that make the processes so different.
Everyone involved has their own agenda.
The at-fault parties will often try to blame the victims injured by their negligence. Insurance agents will almost certainly be hunting for any detail they can twist around to knock money off your claim or flat-out reject it.
Founding personal injury attorneys Michael Smith and Albert M. Hassler III are Houston natives who take an aggressive and thorough approach to all accident cases. When we demand the maximum compensation for your claim, we’re backed by mountains of evidence and trial-tested strategies.
The police are doing an investigation, so why do I need a lawyer to investigate the crash, too?
The police are conducting a criminal investigation and performing accident reconstruction. They are not focused on the outcome of your insurance claim.
Depending on where the accident happened, the Houston Police or Texas Highway Patrol will almost certainly investigate your incident. They will deliver a report at the end of their investigation.
The police will record many details but may skip others that aren’t relevant to their investigation. Smith & Hassler combs through all evidence and finds details the police may not have considered important but that could make a huge difference to your compensation.
Who is at-fault in a multi-vehicle accident?
This is one of the more difficult questions to answer when investigating pileups of any size. Often, there is more than one person to blame for the wreck. Among the people who could be at-fault in your accident are
- Truck owners
- Vehicle parts manufacturers
- Cargo owners
- Cargo loaders
- Roadway maintenance crews
- Commercial trucking companies
Texas observes the “modified comparative fault rule” with a 51 percent bar. This means that even if you are partially at fault in an accident, you may still be able to receive compensation for your injuries and lost property. Your final payout will be reduced by the percentage of fault you carry for the accident. (If you are found to be 25 percent at fault, for example, you only get 75 percent of the value of your claim).
However, if you are found to be 51 percent or more at fault in the accident, you cannot make a claim.
What if there are multiple people at fault for my injuries? Who should I file a claim against?
It’s often the case in multi-car wrecks that more than one person’s negligence contributed to your damages. In these situations, you may have what is called “indivisible injuries” — an injury in which more than one person is in the wrong, but it’s hard to establish a reasonable certainty their actions led to your loss.
Texas courts have often ruled that when there are two or more “wrongdoers” and fault cannot be apportioned, then all the wrongdoers will be held jointly and severally liable for all damages. This means that you can file a claim for the full value of your damages with any one of the at-fault persons. Once you win, that person or business will pay all your damages. The people providing your payout can then seek to recoup some of that money from the other at-fault parties.
What is the “One Satisfaction” rule?
The rule was created to prevent undue windfalls for accident victims. It means that you are entitled to collect the full value of your claim only once. You cannot collect the full value of your claim from one at-fault party and then seek more compensation from the other people involved.
What causes multi-vehicle pile ups?
Little research has been conducted to learn more about the factors that cause multiple-car crashes.
Neither the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety specifically collect annual data on multiple-vehicle wrecks.
However, a common cause seems to be sudden and unusual changes in weather, like ice or dense fog on a Texas highway.
Driver distraction and an over-reliance on safe driving technology may also be an issue, experts say.
Tell the insurance companies you mean business
Seeking justice when there are multiple injured and at-fault parties involved is incredibly complicated. You can benefit greatly from having knowledgeable and local legal representation on your side.
When you hire Smith & Hassler to take on the adjusters for you, you’re telling the insurance companies that you mean business. Around here, the insurance companies know that Smith & Hassler is relentless in our pursuit of the best outcomes for our clients.
When it’s time to negotiate for your settlement, insurance agents know better than to play games with us. They come ready to make a fair deal.
Keep your wallet in your pocket
It’s a common misconception that hiring a lawyer is always expensive. This is not the case at Smith & Hassler. Houston is our community, and we want to be accessible to everyone here. That is why we offer free case consultations to accident victims. During a consultation, a member of our legal team will listen to the details of your accident and injuries. We can help you understand the full value of your claim and weigh your best legal options.
Our car accident lawyers represent clients on contingency. This means there is no retainer or hourly rate for you to cover. Our fee is calculated into your final settlement or verdict and paid for by the insurance companies — not you. If we don’t win, we don’t get paid.
There’s nothing to lose. Contact Smith & Hassler now and get started on getting the most for your injuries.