Chain reaction accidents often start with one driver who fails to exercise reasonable care while operating their vehicle. A single driver’s negligence can lead to multiple crashes, particularly if other drivers are distracted and fail to react in time to avoid a collision. Chain reaction accidents pose complicated questions of causation that can affect the legal proof required in a successful personal injury lawsuit. One recent Maryland chain reaction accident demonstrates how one driver’s negligence can lead to widespread damage.
For example, a recent news article reported a chain-reaction crash on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge involving 23 vehicles. According to the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), a vehicle that was speeding and driving erratically may have caused the accident. Multiple people suffered injuries, and the MDTA closed the Bay Bridge for several hours. While first responders provided assistance at the scene, several drivers found themselves stuck on the bridge with nowhere to go.
How Can You Prove Fault in a Maryland Chain-Reaction Accident?
If you bring a lawsuit after a chain-reaction accident on a bridge or highway, you must prove that the defendant’s negligence was the factual and legal cause of your injuries. However, proving causation may be complicated in a chain-reaction accident. For example, one driver may have struck your vehicle, but a second driver may have crashed into the first driver while speeding, causing the first vehicle to move forward. In this example, even though the first driver hit your vehicle, the second driver’s negligence may be the legal cause of your injuries. If so, the first driver likely has a strong defense that they did not cause your harm, meaning they would not be liable for damages. Conversely, if the second driver was speeding, texting while driving, or driving under the influence, they will have a tougher time proving their negligence was not the cause of your injuries.