Mass Accidents Means Difficult And Complex Legal Problems
On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Motor Vehicle Accident on Friday, February 1, 2013
Some motor vehicle accidents are relativity straightforward when it comes time to sort out the respective responsibilities of the parties. Two cars have a collision. The car one rear-ended the driver of car two as it was waiting at a stop sign. The driver of the car one was distracted, checking a text, and did not notice the cars in front of it had stopped. Two cars, two drivers, two insurance companies, easy determination of fault and liability.
Other times, highway collisions are not so straightforward. News from Ohio tells of a multi-vehicle crash, apparently triggered by a “freak” snowstorm. According to the Claims Journal, the snowstorm on Jan. 21 caused a crash of 103 cars, trucks and tractor-trailers on I-275 outside of Cincinnati. The report on this car and truck accident is described as “voluminous” and will take weeks to complete. Litigation resulting from this complex an accident could last for years.
With an accident of this magnitude, the complexity grows exponentially. There were 103 vehicles, 200 occupants, 27 people injured and 1 fatality. Each vehicle should have been insured, meaning 103 insurance policies. There is potentially the added complexity that some drivers may have been uninsured.
A strong possibility exists that an insurance company may insure more than one driver. This leads to the problem of conflicts of interest within the insurance company, as it could, in a sense, be suing itself for damages for various drivers.
Additional insurance issues could be raised if trucks involved are owned by one company and leased by another company, or it is shown that failure to properly maintain parts on a tractor or trailer contributed to some of the damage.
Needless to say, if you are involved in this type of mass collision, obtaining the services of an attorney early in the proceedings is important to protect your interests.
Source: Claims Journal, “Ohio Interstate Pileup Will Take Weeks to Sort Out,” January 30, 2013