Four tractor-trailers and a passenger vehicle were involved in accidents in the westbound lanes of Interstate 40 in Cumberland County on Thursday morning.
Per a report by the Herald-Citizen, the first accident occurred at around 3:30 a.m. near mile marker 325 when a stopped tractor-trailer with two flat tires was struck by another big rig on the side of the interstate.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol says that debris from that crash was thrown into the roadway, causing drivers to stop. That caused another crash when a tractor-trailer rear-ended another semi-truck due to the driver being unable to stop in time.
Finally, a third crash happened when a passenger vehicle bumped a tractor-trailer near the other accident scenes. However, the driver of the passenger vehicle left the scene.
A spokesperson with the Tennessee Highway Patrol says that no one was injured in the crashes, but they did result in major traffic issues. Emergency responders closed all but one lane of westbound traffic on I-40 as they worked to clear the scene and investigate the accidents.
Determining Fault after Multi-Vehicle Accidents
When only two vehicles are involved in an accident, finding out who was responsible for the crash can be straightforward, especially if both drivers agree about the sequence of events that led up to the accident. However, when three or more vehicles are involved in an accident, determining fault becomes more complicated—especially when vehicles get pushed into others during chain-reaction crashes.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Cookeville auto accident attorneys know that investigators can determine fault by:
- Analyzing crash scenes
Evidence at the crash scene, such as skid marks, damaged trees, utility poles, or light posts, broken guardrails and fences, and even debris left behind by vehicles can help them put together the sequence of events just before the collision occurred. That information can then help them determine which driver was responsible.
- Reviewing victim statements
After an accident, victims will have an opportunity to talk to police and investigators about what happened. But because accidents are so stressful and disorienting, victims’ accounts don’t always add up or paint the same picture. However, investigators can combine the facts of the accident with reliable and corroborated information to find out what happened.
- Speaking with witnesses
Because victim statements aren’t always reliable, police also may speak with witnesses, especially if the crash happened near other vehicles or pedestrians. Their statements can help further refine the sequence of events that may have led to the collision, helping police further pinpoint the driver or drivers who may have been at-fault.
- Watching traffic camera footage
When multi-vehicle accidents happen in urban areas or at intersections, investigators may have the luxury of being able to review footage of the crashes. Many interstates and highways throughout Tennessee are also equipped with traffic cameras, and the footage they obtain can also be used to determine fault.
People who are involved in multi-vehicle accidents are often at high risk of suffering serious, disabling, and even life-threatening injuries. Their vehicles may be struck multiple times from multiple angles, increasing their risk of being severely hurt. Many victims of these types of crashes face expensive medical bills and uncertain futures, especially if their injuries prevent them from going back to work.
Were you or someone you know hurt in a multi-vehicle crash? If so, our legal team is here to help. We can investigate the crash and will work hard to determine who was at fault. Then, we’ll hold that person or party accountable if their negligence led to the accident.
Get in touch with our legal team today to find out how we can assist you. We have three decades of experience assisting auto accident victims throughout Middle Tennessee, and we know what it takes to win. Fill out a free online form or call us at (931) 754-1188 today.