Chain Reaction Car Accidents: Who’s At Fault?

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Traffic jam in Pinellas Park FLA recent story from the Miami area caught my attention this week.  The reporters told the story of a six-vehicle pile-up on the Florida Turnpike, which led to a person being rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition. Chain reaction car accidents have been in the news lately.

The accident started with a wheelbarrow falling from the back of a pickup truck.  The landscaping tool, just like one that you might use in your own St. Petersburg yard, had not been properly tied down.  As a result of highway speed and strong winds, it was lifted enough to escape the bed of the truck and hit the road in the path of a tractor trailer causing chain reaction car accidents.

According to reports, the trucker swerved to miss the escaped wheelbarrow and struck a car and flipped on its side crushing another vehicle.  There were a total of six cars involved, in addition to the large truck.  The pile-up caused highway traffic to slow to a stop as road crews and first responders made every attempt to quickly clear the wreckage.

Occurring so close to our Saint Petersburg homes, this should serve a reminder that we must be very careful and highly alert when traveling the highways in the state.  There were many actions that might have been taken to prevent this accident, or at least to reduce its magnitude, beginning with the tying down of the wheelbarrow.

Right now, the authorities are trying to find the driver that owned and lost the garden tool.  It is very likely that he or she will face charges as a result of the massive amount of damage done.  A few moments would have been enough to properly secure the wheelbarrow and this whole mess could have been prevented.  As for the cars that were the last to be involved in the wreckage, proper following distance might have saved them from their own agony.  Too often drivers take unnecessary risks by following too closely to the vehicles ahead of them.  This doesn’t allow them enough time to respond to sudden accidents like this.  So, instead of it involving the car and truck, there were five other vehicles in a heap when the police responded.

In all likelihood, personal injury attorneys will be brought in to help the victims of the accident.  These legal professionals will have to determine who was at fault.  While the driver of the pickup truck will undoubtedly be named as a defendant, there may be other negligent players as well.  In order to make this determination, the lawyers will have to collect several pieces of evidence.

Witness Statements. Witnesses are frequently important in personal injury cases, and in a situation like this, they will undoubtedly prove very useful for the attorneys and victims involved, because they would have had a different view of the incident.  It is important if you are a party to a traffic accident that you seek out any potential witnesses at the scene and request their names and contact information.

Police Reports. The police will document as much as they can about what they discovered when they arrived, as well as what was said by the parties involved.  This information will be shared in the formal report, which the attorneys can access.

Photographs. Attorneys will very likely scour over any photos taken at the accident scene, including pictures of the cars damaged in the incident.  They will also look at the road signs, skid marks, and other such details evident at the scene of the crash.