A teenager was seriously injured and another person was killed when their car was hit by a van in Raleigh on the afternoon of Friday, October 6th. According to a spokesperson for the Raleigh Police Department, the fatal multi-vehicle accident took place at the intersection of Rush Street and Hammond Road at about 12:28 p.m.
How is fault determined in North Carolina multi-vehicle accidents?
Reports show that the driver of a 2007 Chevrolet van was traveling southbound along Hammond Road. As he entered the intersection at Rush Street, he failed to stop at a red light and collided with a westbound 2008 Kia Sportage. The impact force propelled the Kia into a 2018 Chevrolet van traveling eastbound on Rush Street. The Sportage then left the roadway before coming to an uncontrolled stop.
The Kia’s driver, 55-year-old Jamie Deshon Brailsford, was transported to a local hospital where she passed away due to her injuries. Her 13-year-old front-seat passenger was hospitalized with serious injuries.
The driver of the 2007 van, 58-year-old John Thomas Shugart, was taken to an area medical facility with injuries classified as non-life-threatening. He is facing charges of failing to stop at a red light and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.
The driver of the other van was unharmed during the collision.
The accident remains under investigation by the Raleigh Police Department.
Multi-vehicle accidents are some of the most devastating and complex types of motor vehicle accidents in North Carolina. Since they involve multiple vehicles, multiple drivers, and a chain of events that happen in quick succession, establishing liability and just compensation for damages can be challenging.
If you were injured in a North Carolina multi-vehicle accident and are considering filing a personal injury claim, a North Carolina car accident lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can review the circumstances surrounding your accident and address any concerns you have. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.
What is a Multi-Vehicle Accident?
A multi-vehicle accident is an accident involving three or more vehicles. Multi-vehicle collisions can take place for many different reasons, including inclement weather, unexpected braking, or driver negligence. When three or more vehicles collide, it can be difficult to establish the correct sequence of events and determine who is responsible for causing the crash. It is not uncommon for the drivers involved to be unclear about exactly what happened and when depending on where they were in the pile-up.
Contributory Negligence in North Carolina
One of the challenges that comes with resolving a North Carolina multi-car accident is the contributory negligence rule. According to this rule, if a victim is determined to be just 1% at fault for an accident, they will be prohibited from collecting any financial compensation for their damages. This harsh rule usually problematizes the fault-finding process in a multi-vehicle collision since multiple drivers tend to share some degree of liability for the accident. Each driver’s insurance carrier is going to do everything in its power to pay as little as possible to settle the case which will further complicate the matter. This is not a situation you should attempt to handle on your own. An experienced car accident attorney can help you achieve the best possible results for your case.
Negotiating and Litigating North Carolina Multi-Vehicle Accident Claims
Once fault has been established, your lawyer will negotiate a fair settlement with the insurers of the at-fault drivers. Settlement negotiations are usually contentious since each insurance adjustor will try to downplay their policyholder’s liability and shift the blame onto others involved in the incident.
In some circumstances, negotiations lead to an equitable settlement that fully compensates you for your physical injuries, lost earnings, property damage, and pain and suffering. If negotiations begin to fall apart, your lawyer might suggest taking your case to court. If this happens, they will present your case before a jury and judge using evidence collected during the investigation to prove fault and show the severity of your damages.
North Carolina Multi-Vehicle Accident Attorneys
Trying to understand the intricacies of a North Carolina multi-vehicle accident can be an overwhelming and intimidating process. Keeping in mind the potential for more than one driver to share liability and the state’s contributory negligence laws, it is important to work with a reputable attorney. Contact a North Carolina car accident lawyer at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp today at (833) 997-1774 to schedule a free case review.