Unfortunately, car crashes often occur when certain factors, such as distracted driving, speeding or harsh weather conditions, come into play. In busy roads or highways, collisions involving more than two vehicles are more likely to happen. When multiple vehicles are involved in a crash, figuring out who will bear the damages can be a tedious process.
Identifying the responsible driver
There is no fixed structure when determining the guilty party because each incident is unique, with varied factors at play. Several circumstances should be considered when looking for the responsible driver in a multi-car collision. This includes but is not limited to the following:
- Driving conditions (e.g., foggy weather or slippery roads)
- Scene of the accident (e.g., type of collision, if head-on, rear-end or other)
- Conditions of the drivers (e.g., sobriety)
- Available evidence (e.g., CCTV footage or black box recordings)
- Statements from drivers and witnesses
However, parties should note that even if they identify the responsible driver, it does not mean they can automatically recover damages or that the responsible driver is liable for damages.
The role of negligence
In South Dakota, an individual with slight negligence can recover damages according to the degree of fault against the guilty driver. Furthermore, the defendant will only be liable for damages if the court finds their negligence gross. This is what one calls contributory negligence.
It is good practice for drivers to know what to expect in case of a multi-vehicle crash to protect their rights. If you have been involved in a car collision, your right to seek damages includes finding the responsible driver that caused the incident.