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Multi-Car Pile Up: What Do I Do?


With poor weather, especially during the winter and early spring months, comes bad driving conditions. All car accidents are stressful but being involved in a pile-up means there are multiple cars involved and liability is often disputed. What do you do if you have been in a pile-up crash?

A pile-up accident is the result of a chain reaction crash. These are sometimes the most dangerous types of auto accidents because they involve multiple vehicles. Accidents can happen in an instant, and while people can see the other vehicles piled up, sometimes their quick, instinctual reactions may lead to more cars falling victim.

This kind of accident is more complicated to handle from a legal aspect than a single or two-vehicle collision because there can be multiple plaintiffs and defendants, and the parties are often sharing damages from a single sum of money.

Each state has different laws when it comes to who is at fault. Unfortunately, Maryland and Washington D.C. are contributory negligence states, meaning if you have any share of the fault in the pileup, even 1% of it, you are unable to recover any damages.

What should you do if you are in a multi-car or pileup crash?

  • Call 911
  • Put your hazard lights on after the crash
  • Wait for first responders to assist you
  • Collect as much information as possible – once you are deemed safe by first responders, begin collecting evidence such as photos, license plate numbers, contact information from other drivers and eyewitnesses, police reports, and insurance information.
  • Be mindful of what you say – If a police officer asks for your account of what happened, be truthful but careful as what you say can hold you liable. It is advised to refrain from sharing what happened via social media but if you do, avoid sharing details as to how it happened.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a multi-car or pile-up crash, contact Potter Law, LLC today for a free case evaluation.