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Who Is Liable In A Multi-Car Pile Up?

By Daniel Archer. Last update 13th June 2022. A multi-car pile-up is a road traffic accident that involves several vehicles. They can involve cars or any other type of road vehicle. A car crash pile-up is one of the most dangerous types of road accidents. If you are injured in a car accident in the UK, you may be eligible to claim compensation for your injuries from the party who is responsible for the accident.

In this guide, we will look at how a multiple car pile-up can happen and who is at fault in such a situation. We will also advise you on how to claim compensation for your injuries.

Who is liable in a multi-car pile up guide

Who is liable in a multi-car pile up guide

If you have been injured in a car pile-up accident, you may be eligible to claim compensation if you have sufficient evidence showing that negligence contributed to the incident.

Legal Expert can provide you with a skilled personal injury lawyer to handle your car accident claim. Your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

To begin your claim, call our free helpline on 0800 073 8804 to speak to an advisor. Alternatively, you can fill out our online car accidents claims form to see if you can claim or send us your query using the chat window onscreen.

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A Guide To Multiple Car Pile-Up Compensation Claims

In the United Kingdom, people who have been injured in a road traffic accident can, in some instances, claim compensation from the liable party. This is often another driver. In a minority of cases, a third party such as a council or a construction company could be to blame.

But if a multiple car pile-up takes place, who is to blame? It is harder to determine who is at fault in such a situation. This is because several cars can be involved. In some cases, liability may be split between more than one party.

In this guide, we will explain what these types of personal injury claims involve and look at how fault is determined when a car pile-up accident takes place. We will also offer you advice if you have been the victim of a crash-for-cash scam.

If you have been injured because of a multiple pile-up car accident, call Legal Expert for help. We offer a free legal consultation to all of our potential clients, where we can assess your situation and determine whether or not you are eligible to claim compensation. If we can see that you have a strong claim for compensation for your injuries, a skilled No Win No Fee solicitor will start working on your case.

So to begin your compensation claim for injuries caused by a multiple pile-up, call Legal Expert or use our online accident claims form to reach us. Alternatively to learn more about making a claim for a multiple-vehicle crash on the motorway or the roads continue reading this guide.

What Is A Multiple-Car Pile Up?

A multiple-car pile-up is a road traffic accident that involves several cars or motor vehicles. Car-pile up accidents often happen on dual carriageways or motorways, where traffic can be dense and move at high speed.

Because car pile-up accidents involve many vehicles, they are amongst the most dangerous types of road traffic accidents. Some of the biggest car crash pile-ups have caused hundreds of injuries.

For example, in 2013 over 200 people were injured in a massive car pile-up in Sheppey, Kent, which involved over 100 vehicles. Thankfully no one was killed. (Source:

What is the largest car pile-up in history?

The biggest multi-car pile up to ever take place was in Brazil in 2011. 300 vehicles were involved and tragically one person died.

Causes Of Multi-Car Pile Up Accidents

Whether it is a motorway crash or a collision on a dual carriageway, errors made by drivers or environmental factors, such as ice or fog, can have an impact.

We will now look at common causes of multiple car pile-up accidents.

Multiple Car Pile Ups Caused By Adverse Weather Conditions

Car pile-ups can happen in snowy or icy conditions because the surface of the road becomes more slippery. Similarly, car pile-ups can happen during heavy rain.

During rain, snow or icy weather it is recommended that cars increase their stopping distance from the vehicle in front and drive with caution.

Fog can also cause a multi-car pile-up accident, because of reduced visibility on the roads.

Sudden Braking And Insufficient Braking Distance

Cars are supposed to leave a sufficient braking distance between themselves and the vehicle in front of them, especially when travelling at speed. This is so that if the car in front brakes suddenly, they have sufficient time to react and come to a safe stop.

Braking distances vary depending on the speed the vehicles are travelling at and weather conditions. Motorways generally advise drivers to stay two chevrons apart.

If one car crashes into the back of another, this is known as a rear-end collision, rear-end shunt or rear-end car crash. Rear-end collisions are a cause of whiplash. In some instances, other cars can be hit, creating a car pile-up accident.

Poorly Maintained Vehicles

A vehicle that has not been properly maintained can cause an accident. For example, if there is a problem with the car’s brakes or a mechanical failure leading to problems with the clutch or accelerator, this can cause it to collide with another vehicle. If this leads to a motorway crash, it may cause a multi-car pile up.

If you’ve been injured in any of the ways described above, please get in touch to find out if one of our No Win No Fee solicitors could help you.

Who Is At Fault In A Car Pile Up?

If you have been injured because of a pile-up car accident, you may be wondering who is at fault? This can be a complicated answer.

In the case of a car accident pile up, insurance companies and lawyers representing both parties may provide evidence. If a road user loses their life, a coroner may also provide evidence.

In straightforward claims, the driver responsible for a rear-end collision is the one that drove into the back of the car in front. The basis of this is that the driver should have been paying due care and attention.

Because car crash pile-ups are serious accidents they are often investigated by the police who will determine fault. Sometimes those involved will go to court to determine this.

The Highway Code outlines every road user’s duty of care in Great Britain. According to Rule 126 of the Highway Code, motorists must leave at least a two-second stopping distance between them and the vehicle in front of them. If a car hits another car because they were tailgating them (driving too close to their rear end), that driver is usually judged to be at fault.

Often a tailgating driver will cause a multi-car pile up. As of 29 January 2022, changes have been made to the Highway Code which could affect who is deemed to be at fault for the road traffic accident.

Who Else Could Be Liable For a Multi-Car Pile Up?

Because pile-up accidents often involve multiple cars, people who have been injured may ask the following:

  • “Who is at fault in a 3 car pile-up?”
  • “Which driver is responsible for a 4 car pile-up?”
  • “Who is at fault in a 5 car pile-up?”
  • “In a multiple rear-end collision, who’s at fault?”

If an accident involves a larger multiple car pile up, the question of who is at fault can become more complex. Sometimes more than one driver may be at fault.

However, if poor road conditions partially or fully contribute to a motorway crash, National Highways may be deemed to be negligent. Any third party that has a duty of care can be negligent if they are adjudged to have caused an injury by acting against their legal obligations.

To learn more about claiming if you’ve suffered an injury from a car pile up, please contact our team for free using the above details. 

How Is Evidence Gathered?

If you are involved in a serious road traffic accident the police will arrive at the scene, as well as other necessary emergency services. The police will investigate all parties involved in a car pile up to determine who is at fault.

Do you have any evidence which will help the police determine liability such as photographs of a hazard in the road? If so, it’s recommended that you share this information with your solicitor and your insurance company.

The police will also take statements from eyewitnesses. In some instances, multiple parties may be involved and give contradictory accounts. Or each driver may blame the other. These contested multiple car pile-up investigations can take longer.

The police will usually produce a report based on the outcome of their investigation. This will determine who is at fault in a car pile up. Your personal injury solicitor will use the police report to determine your eligibility for car accident compensation, along with other evidence.

How Do Insurers Decide Liability?

Every motorist needs car insurance. Those with fully comprehensive car insurance will be able to claim money from their insurer to pay for any vehicle repairs needed or a replacement car. Making this claim means that their insurance premiums may go up too.

If a person is injured in a car accident they may be able to claim personal injury compensation from the driver at fault. They can also claim for other costs associated with their accident. This will be paid out by the at-fault driver’s insurance provider.

Many insurers will review a police report and may consider any other evidence at hand. Often a personal injury lawyer representing the injured claimant will present them with evidence to support their client.

Upon review of the evidence, the defendant’s insurer or legal representative may make a decision on liability, either admitting it or denying it.

Split Liability Claims

A split liability claim is when more than one party is judged to be at fault. For example, a driver may be injured in a multiple car pile-up accident on a motorway. They may be judged to be 25% at fault and another driver may be judged to be 75% responsible for causing the accident.

If the first driver made a successful split liability claim for their injuries, they would receive a compensation payout that is 75% of what they would have been paid had the other party been 100% liable.

Sometimes liability for a car pile up accident will be split between more than two parties. This could be the case if, for example, you’re involved in a 100 car pile-up where your negligence and the negligence of another road user led to the accident happening. Split liability claims are usually paid out through the other party’s insurance provider.

Cash-For-Crash Scams

A crash for cash accident is a scam where fraudsters intentionally cause a car accident to claim compensation from you. For example, they may deliberately break in front of your car, so you crash into the back of theirs.

It is often the following driver who is held liable in a multi-car pile up, or rear-end collision. This means that the fraudster may intentionally put you in this position in order to defraud you and claim compensation.

What Steps Should I Take To Seek Motorway Pile-Up Accident Compensation

There are several steps you can take to build a strong claim. For instance, you could gather evidence to help you prove who is at fault for the accident. This could include:

  1. Speak to people who witnessed the accident and ask for their contact details. They may be able to make a statement to support you.
  2. Make a note of how many people were in the other car. Fraudsters sometimes lie about the number of people in the car to get a bigger compensation payout.
  3. Get photographs of the other car and its registration plate, if you believe you are not putting yourself at risk by doing so.
  4. Look to see if there is a CCTV camera nearby, as this may support your compensation claim.

Additionally, you could seek legal representation. Although you are not mandated by law to be represented by solicitors, it could benefit you.

A solicitor can offer services such as helping you gather relevant evidence. They can also arrange for you to attend an independent medical assessment to produce a medical report on the extent of your injuries.

At Legal Expert, our solicitors have experience handling serious car accident claims made for injuries from a motorway pile-up. They all operate on a No Win No Fee basis which presents a way to fund legal representation without needing to pay an upfront fee.

You need to prove that you sustained injuries from a motorway pile-up as a result of negligence to be eligible to make a claim. If you decide to seek motorway pile-up accident compensation using our solicitors, call us on the number at the top of the page. An advisor can assess whether your serious car accident claim is eligible to be passed onto one of our solicitors.

2022 Payouts For Motorway Pile-Up Accident Claims

If you’ve been involved in a 3-car pile-up, or perhaps even an accident with more vehicles involved, it’s possible you could be owed compensation. This could be under two different heads of claim, and the value of this compensation could be influenced by a few different factors.

The figure that relates to your pain and suffering is known as general damages. In this section, you’ll find a table that displays some guide figures associated with certain injuries that could be sustained in a pile-up crash. The amounts listed have been taken from a publication that was updated in 2022, called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

This publication is used by legal professionals during the process of valuing a claim. It is made up of a descriptive list of a variety of injuries and what their potential worth could be in general damages.

It’s essential to keep in mind that these figures are not guaranteed for your specific claim. Factors such as how severe your injury is and how long it may take you to recover will be taken into account when evaluating how much you could receive in general damages.

InjurySeverityNotes On This InjuryEstimated Compensation
Ankle InjuryVery severeLimited and unusual injuries to the ankle, such as specific ankle fractures. This could include a soft tissue injury or a break which causes some deformity. £50,060 to £69,700
Ankle InjurySevereAn injury which necessitates a longer treatment period or where pins and plates need to be used.£31,310 to £50,060
Ankle InjuryModerateBreaks, fractures and ligament tears which lead to less severe disabilities. The person may be left with issues walking on uneven surfaces. £13,740 to £26,590
Foot InjurySeriousThe claimant will have foot pain, such as that caused by traumatic arthritis. There could be the risk of further and future injury. £24,990 to £39,200
Foot InjuryModerateA displaced fracture in one of the metatarsals. This could lead to a degree of foot deformity and some long-term symptoms.£13,740 to £24,990
Wrist InjurySingle Award LevelAn simple and uncomplicated Colles' fracture.In the region of £7,430
Hand InjuryLess seriousSevere crush injuries which could result in the claimant being left with impaired use of their hand.£14,450 to £29,000
Hand InjuryModerateThis could cover a variety of different sot tissue injuries.£5,720 to £13,280
Neck InjuryModerate (i)Moderate injuries which cause dislocations or fractures. These could cause immediate injury symptoms and they may require a spinal fusion.£24,990 to £38,490
Neck InjuryModerate (iii)The accident may have triggered an existing neck injury to have become worse.£7,890 to £13,740

If your injuries from a car accident are deemed to be worth less than £5,000, you would need to claim through the Whiplash Reform Programme. However, if you’re unsure how much your injuries are worth, our advisors would be more than happy to help.

If you happen to have been in a car pile-up due to someone else’s negligence, and have been injured as a result, you could potentially claim. Get in touch for more information on general damages and liability in general.

Special Damages Which May Be Awarded

If you make a successful claim for a multi-car accident, you could receive special damages as part of your compensation package. These are funds to repay you for any financial losses incurred because of the injuries suffered. Special damages payouts for a multi-car pile up can include the following:

  • Funds to cover the repair of your car
  • Payments for a replacement vehicle
  • Funds to reimburse you for the cost of your car insurance excess
  • Medical expenses
  • Care expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Reimbursement for any income lost due to your injuries.

In the unfortunate event that you become disabled due to your injuries, you will also be able to claim special damages to pay for the following:

  • Car adaptation expenses
  • Home adaptation expenses
  • Funds to pay for any mobility equipment needed.

No Win No Fee Claims For Multi-Car Pile-Up Accidents

If you have been injured because of a multi-car pile up accident that was not your fault, you can make a No Win No Fee claim. A No Win No Fee claim means that you won’t have to pay an hourly or upfront legal fee in order to claim. Instead, you will pay a success fee on the condition that your personal injury solicitor wins your compensation claim. This will be formalised by signing a Conditional Fee Agreement.

Because you don’t have to pay an upfront legal fee, making a No Win No Fee claim is the more affordable way to claim compensation for many. What’s more, because you don’t have to pay your solicitors fee if the claim is unsuccessful, there is less financial risk involved.

To begin your No Win No Fee claim for road accident compensation, contact us today. Alternatively, read our online guide to learn more.

Contact Us

If you have been injured because of a multiple pile up accident, call Legal Expert today. We can provide you with a skilled personal injury lawyer to handle your compensation claim.

Our solicitors will value your claim accurately and negotiate expertly with the defence in order to win you the maximum amount of compensation you could be owed. To begin your claim contact us today using the details below:

Road Traffic Accident Claim Resources

We hope you have found this article helpful. If you wish to claim compensation for injuries caused by a car accident, you may find these guides helpful.

How Much Compensation For An Emergency Services Vehicle, Police Car Or Ambulances Accident?

Estimating How Much Compensation You Can Claim For A Pothole Accident Or Injury

How Much Compensation For An Injury Involving A Stolen Car Or Vehicle?

The Road Traffic Act 1988

Whiplash – An NHS Guide

To learn more about multi-car pile-up claims, please contact our team for free legal advice. Our advisors can be contacted 24/7 using the above details.

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