Unfortunately, multi-car crashes are not uncommon in South Carolina. In fact, in 2021 alone, around 111,370 automobile drivers were involved in multi-unit collisions in South Carolina. Of those drivers, approximately 53% were found not to be contributors to the collision, according to the most recent available data

If you’ve been hurt as a result of a pile-up car crash in South Carolina that you did not cause, it’s important to know your rights. These accidents can be much more complicated than a typical two-vehicle crash for many reasons: injuries can be more severe, determining who is at fault can be complicated, and securing fair compensation may be difficult. This article will discuss many of these factors, and more, so you can better understand what you may be entitled to after a pile up accident. 

What is a Multi-Car Crash?

Simply put, a multiple vehicle accident is any collision that involves more than two vehicles. These are frequently referred to as “multi-vehicle accidents,” “pile-up accidents,” or “pile-ups.”

What Are Common Causes of Multi-Vehicle Accidents?

There are a few common causes of multi-vehicle crashes in South Carolina:

  • Chain Reactions – Chain reaction accidents occur when one vehicle causes an initial collision, usually in the form of a rear end collision, causing the vehicle they hit to collide with the car in front of them, and so forth.
  • Unavoidable Hazards – Another way pileups may start is when two vehicles collide and other drivers around them are not able to avoid them.
  • Lane or Median Passing – Sometimes, a two-vehicle crash forces one vehicle over a median or lane, crashing into vehicles in another lane or oncoming traffic. 
  • Human-Error and Negligence: Human error can play a big part in the initial collision causing pile-up accidents. For example, drivers who are distracted, speeding, or following too closely can play a major part in these accidents.

Pile-up crashes can be extremely dangerous and lead to very serious injuries. We understand that your involvement in a pileup accident may have been entirely out of your control, and we are here to help you seek justice.

A car accident involving multiple vehicles causing damage. Damaged automobiles after collision.

Where Do Most Multi-Car Crashes Occur?

Many times, these wrecks occur on roads with higher speed limits, such as highways. When cars are moving at a faster speed and in close proximity to other vehicles, it can be extremely difficult to react fast enough to avoid unexpected accidents.

How is Fault Determined in SC Pile-Up Crashes?

If you’ve been injured in a multi-vehicle pile up, especially if you were in the “front” of the pileup, you may have options under South Carolina law based on the specifics of your case. These cases can be very difficult to handle on your own, but an experienced car accident attorney at Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC can greatly help increase your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve.

The state of South Carolina follows a “comparative negligence” system. Comparative negligence assigns a percent that each driver is found to be at-fault. In a pileup accident case, this is done by examining each driver’s actions and comparing them to others involved in the accident. If you are found to be less than 50% at fault for the collision, then you likely can recover some amount of compensation for your damages.

It’s important to note that the percentage you are found to be at-fault directly impacts the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive. For example, if a jury finds you to be 30% at-fault for the accident, then you can recover 70% of the jury’s ultimate verdict.

One of the reasons we don’t recommend representing yourself in a South Carolina multi-vehicle accident claim is because you potentially have claims against multiple other parties. In those cases, it can be difficult dealing with insurance companies who will point the finger at everyone but their own insured driver. If you have any questions, or would like to hire an attorney to optimize your car accident claim, please contact our office today.

How Will a Lawyer Help My Pile-Up Collision Case?

One of the first things your lawyer will focus a lot of time, attention, and resources towards is understanding your specific accident in order to prove negligence. We can do this by:

  • Analyzing the police report to identify all potential sources of fault and recovery
  • Potentially working with a reconstruction expert
  • Examining available evidence, such as photos, videos, and more
  • Obtaining additional available evidence such as black box data and security footage
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Getting and analyzing statements from all drivers involved
  • Handling discussions and negotiations with the insurance companies to protect your rights, and much more.

In addition to holding responsible parties accountable for the accident and your compensation, we will handle the process of identifying what insurance may be available to compensate you for your damages. You should not need to worry about what to do if a driver involved was uninsured or underinsured – we will take care of this and help you understand your options.

Related Resource – How Insurance Compensation Works in South Carolina Car Accidents

Steps to Take If You’re Involved in a Multi-Car Accident

Following a multi-car accident, it’s in your best interest to gather as much information as possible, if you are able to. This includes taking pictures of the vehicles involved, the surrounding area, property damage, injuries, and anything else that possibly contributed to the accident. In addition, you’ll want to get contact information of all drivers involved, as well as any witnesses. Like any other accident, you should contact law enforcement, obtain a copy of your police report, get medical attention, notify your insurance company that you’ve been involved in an accident, and call an experienced car accident lawyer to discuss and protect your rights.

Contact The Multi-Vehicle Accident Lawyers at Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC Today

We understand that the aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming on its own. Nobody should have to worry about handling the legal process or being taken advantage of by an insurance company on top of that. Getting a free case evaluation with our reputable car accident lawyers is complimentary and a great place to start after any accident. We will help you understand your options under SC law based on your situation, answer any questions you may have, and let you know how we can help.

To schedule a free case evaluation, call (803) 888-2200, email info@ctlawsc.com, or fill out our secure online form. As always, we’re here for you 24/7 via phone and look forward to speaking with you.

About The Author – William H. Yarborough

My name is Will Yarborough, and I am a partner and personal injury attorney at Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC. My practice primarily focuses on car and truck accident cases, and I represent injured people across the state of South Carolina. 

I’m committed to ensuring that every single client gets the compensation and justice they deserve following serious and unexpected accidents. 

You don’t have to go through the aftermath of an accident on your own. If you have any questions about the information in this article or are interested in becoming a client at Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC, give me a call today. I’d be honored to help.