A box truck and four cars tangled in a chain reaction crash on the Roosevelt Boulevard Extension in East Falls in Philadelphia. The accident happened around 4:45 am in the southbound lanes around 9th Street. Witnesses say it was a miracle that no one was killed given the extent of damage to the vehicles. Firefighters used the jaws of life to free the driver of one of the cars and the driver of the truck. Police at the scene say that one of the drivers was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition, although they didn’t specify which driver it was.
After the initial collision, the truck veered off the road apparently trying to avoid the other cars ripping off a 40-yard section of the guardrail. Crews had to be called in to clean up leaking fuel from the truck.
When several vehicles collide, there are difficulties that set these accidents apart from typical two-car crashes. First responders have to quickly identify where to prioritize their efforts. They must first look to see if there is a chance of further collisions and get traffic stopped or flares out. Then they look to who attend to the most severely injured. The scene is typically chaotic with debris and vehicles scattered over the roadway. After the emergencies are taken care of, then the scene must be photographed and documented, and if severe enough, then forensic traffic investigators need to process the scene before clean up.
How is Fault Determined?
Though finding out what happened and who’s at fault is secondary to emergency medical concerns, sooner or later, the issue of fault will become important. In a typical wreck, its much easier to determine what happened because there is probably only one collision and two vehicles to consider. In multi-vehicle pile-ups or chain-reaction crashes, investigators have to piece together a much more complicated series of events.
Once done, the investigators issue a report giving their expert opinion of what happened. They do not typically draw conclusions as to fault, as this is a legal determination. This can be equally complicated as in many multi-vehicle crashes, each driver involved may have some level of fault.
Do I Need an Attorney?
It’s up to each injured person whether they get an attorney. However, in multi-car wrecks, there are typically several insurance companies covering the many vehicles, and each one is going to point the finger at the other where liability is concerned.
The law can be tricky too with fault spread around between several drivers. You need an attorney that understands multi-car and chain-reaction crashes, and has experience dealing with insurance companies. Don’t wait until they start treating you poorly before you contact an attorney. Some mistakes can’t be undone, so the sooner you have someone working for you, the better off you are.