Winter conditions in Michigan can turn the roads into a skating rink in the blink of an eye, which means accidents are an even greater risk than ever. Normally, in a car accident, Michigan’s no-fault law should kick in, which means your insurance company would cover your medical expenses regardless of who was at fault.
Then there are chain reaction accidents, serious car accidents that occur when multiple cars rear-end each other, causing serious injuries and damages. In these cases, your insurance company is more likely to avoid paying what you deserve, or find a reason not to pay at all.
Here’s what you need to do in a chain reaction accident and what to do to fight for your rights after a major accident.
A chain reaction accident happens when three or more cars in a row are caught in a series of collisions, beginning with the first driver colliding with the second and so on until the accident concludes with a car that has no one else in front of them.
Let’s say you have three drivers, Driver A, Driver B, and Driver C. And let’s say Driver B is distracted and tailgating Driver A. Then something happens in front of Driver A, causing them to brake unexpectedly. But Driver B is distracted and tailgating, so they don’t have enough time to brake and rear-end Driver A. Driver C, behind Driver B, also cannot stop in time and rear-ends Driver B.
There are two ways to avoid a situation like this:
That said, there are certain road conditions that can increase the likelihood of a chain reaction accident even if all involved drivers are paying attention. Bad weather, such as snow, fog, heavy rain, and hail can all reduce visibility while making the roads slippery. Drivers have a much harder time judging distance—and a much harder time slowing down.
When driving in bad conditions, drive defensively. Always allow more space than you think you need and drive slower than you think you need to.
If you are caught in a chain reaction accident despite your best efforts, your first priority is ensuring your safety.
Make sure your seatbelt is fastened. If anyone is in the car with you, make sure their seatbelts are fastened too. Do not exit the car until you get the OK from law enforcement, as there may still be cars moving toward you.
As soon as it’s safe to do so, call law enforcement. If you are uninjured, check the other passengers in your car to make sure they are not injured. Put your hazard lights on and stay in the car until police and EMTs have secured the scene. Perform first aid where necessary, but only if it is safe to do so.
Once police and EMTs have secured the scene, you can collect your thoughts and make observations of the scene. Take the time to thoroughly detail evidence of the accident and collect relevant information, such as the make, model, color, year, and license plate of the cars involved and the names and contact information of the drivers. If you can, take photos of the scene.
Unfortunately, although Michigan is a no-fault state, many insurance companies will resist paying what you deserve for an accident, especially after a chain reaction collision involving severe injuries and extensive property damage.
That’s why your first call shouldn’t be to your insurance agent—it should be to an auto accident lawyer.
At Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys, we know that your accident is more than an accident. It can derail your whole life, draining your resources as you try to recover. And no one should have to make that recovery journey with a disadvantage. That’s why we’re here—to help you fight for what you deserve.
If you’ve been involved in a chain reaction accident and need to speak with an attorney about your options, click here to schedule your free consultation.