At least nine cars were involved in a pileup accident in the westbound lanes of the Pennsylvania Turnpike near mile marker 338 in Upper Dublin. According to police, the two people were trapped in their vehicles and had to be rescued and taken to local hospital. Their injuries were considered serious, but it’s unknown at this time on their condition.
Authorities are unsure what caused the initial collision, but several cars piled into each other, and then other vehicles came upon the scene and were in turn unable to stop. Police completely closed off all westbound lanes of the turnpike for several hours while they investigated and then cleared the scene.
Most pileup accidents happen on highways or multi-lane freeways, although they can occur just about anywhere. In a typical pileup crash, a primary collision occurs and then other vehicles come upon the scene and are unable to stop in time and plow into the rear of other vehicles.
These secondary crashes can happen for some time after the primary collision and even miles away. This is more typical on freeways as cars in multiple lanes round a bend or come over a crest and are unable to stop to avoid other cars that had stopped. Click here to see a video of pile-up crashes on an icy freeway.
How is Fault Determined?
Pileup crashes can produce serious injuries, and they can also create unique—and at times confusing—liability issues. Most drivers have heard that when you hit the car in front of you, its your fault. There is some truth in this as courts will often place blame on someone who rear-ends another car by finding that they were going too fast for conditions or were distracted.
In truth, many times the driver that rear-ended another car wasn’t driving too fast or distracted, but were just unable to stop when the car in front of them suddenly stopped. However, when you look at it from the car that was rear-ended, they were able to stop in time, so the blame logically shouldn’t be placed on them.
In a pile-up, each impact is treated as one accident, so it’s not uncommon for a driver to be a victim of one collision and the at-fault driver in another. This can resent difficulty in determining who is responsible for any one injury especially when a car is going fast enough to push a vehicle into the back of another vehicle creating confusion as to which driver is responsible for which injuries.
Injuries in Pileup Vehicles
The most common injury is a thoracic spine Injury, also known as whiplash. This is because when someone is rear-ended, they are violently pushed back in their seats and then propelled forward into their airbag, steering wheel or dash and then slammed back into their seat again. This injures the spine around the neck area and can be extremely painful and debilitating.
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 many vehicles, and each one is going to point the finger at the other where liability is concerned.
You need an attorney that understands traffic laws and has experience with multi-car crashes. Talk to the attorneys at Pearce Law Firm, P.C. at (215) 557-6868 or text at 215 880 6164, and start getting someone in your corner. You can also contact us online by clicking here.