Three cars collided causing a minivan to flip over and seriously injuring four people. According to Idaho State Police, the accident happened Thursday, April 18, 2019, on State Highway 53 at Fowler Road a couple miles east of Rathdrum.
The accident started when a Lexus SUV was waiting to turn left onto Fowler Road from Highway 53 and was rear-ended by a Ford Econoline van which pushed the Lexus into the westbound lane of 53 into the path of a Nissan minivan pulling a cargo trailer.
The impact caused the minivan to flip and come to a rest on its top. All occupants of the three vehicles, which included three drivers and the passenger of the Ford van, were taken to a local hospital with serious injuries. Idaho State Police are investigating the crash and no charges are pending at this time.
Multi-vehicle crashes are especially dangerous due to the potential for multiple impacts on any one vehicle. Most chain-reaction crashes involve a primary accident and one—or many—secondary accidents. In some cases, the victims are unscathed after the first accident and suffer serious injuries or even death from the second.
Sometimes the secondary crashes occur well after the primary crash as cars pile into each other unable to stop or slow enough to avoid crashing into cars in front of them.
How is Fault Determined?
Those involved in multi-vehicle crashes are often confused about who is at fault and thus who will be paying for the damages and injuries. This can be complex because of the laws regarding personal injury. Generally speaking, if you hit the car in front of you, it’s your fault. While this is true most of the time, it’s not guaranteed to be that way in all cases.
This is because the law requires an injured person to prove negligence on the part of the alleged at-fault driver. In chain-reaction crashes. For example, if a car has already rear-ended a car and another car comes alone later and rear-ends one of those cars, who is responsible for the injuries in the front two cars?
The law requires that for each impact, each injured person must prove which driver was negligent and caused their injuries. As you can see, this can become a nightmare, and in many cases, all parties get together and attempt to settle rather than go to court and let a judge or jury decide. But this can’t be counted on as each insurance company is going to try to push the blame on others making a settlement difficult
Injuries in Pileup Vehicles
Chain-Reaction crashes can be especially violent and cause certain common injuries depending on the nature of the accident. This can be important when making a claim for personal injury, and it takes someone with experience with all types of injuries to get the compensation allowed under the law. Some of these common injuries are:
- Thoracic Spine Injury (Whiplash)
- Blunt Force Trauma
- Head Injuries/Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Internal Injuries/Bleeding
- Air bag injuries
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. If you go it alone, you run the risk of getting a significantly reduced compensation award.
If you have been injured in a chain-reaction or any type of multi-car crash, contact the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., and get someone on your side. We serve clients Coeur d’Alene, ID and Spokane, WA, and surrounding communities and can go toe-to-toe with the insurance companies and their lawyers to get you fair compensation for your injuries. Call us at (509) 926 4900, or send us a message by clicking here.