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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Determining Fault in Chain Reaction Car Accidents in Ohio

Chain reaction car accidents can be devastating, as they can cause severe injuries to multiple people. In worse cases, a crash involving multiple vehicles can lead to wrongful death. Due to the complexity of the situation, it may be challenging to determine the at-fault parties, which could adversely impact claims and compensation.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have decades of combined experience handling multiple and single car accidents in Ohio and have recovered more than $1 billion in compensatory damages for their clients.

The legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can assist injured victims in Toledo, Ohio, by evaluating the facts surrounding their case, identifying the liable parties, and going to war against the insurers to ensure that the affected party gets the compensation they deserve. They can also share tips for handling intersection car accidents in Ohio.

Recent Chain Reaction Car Accidents in Ohio

Recent Chain Reaction Car Accidents in Ohio

There have been many chain-reaction car accidents in Ohio in the last decade. The two most devastating ones include the following:

A Charter Bus Carrying Students Involved in a Deadly Crash on the I-70

On November 14, 2023, a fatal chain reaction accident involving a school bus carrying students, two commercial vehicles, and two passenger vehicles occurred on westbound I-70.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a semi-truck rear-ended the charter bus carrying students after it slowed down due to the line of traffic from a previous incident. Three passengers, two from Mineral City, were pronounced dead at the accident scene.

The Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools Superintendent stated that the Pioneer Trails charter bus was taking the students for a performance at the Ohio School Boards Association conference when the accident happened. According to the reports, the crash involving five vehicles killed six people and left many others injured, including the bus driver.

After the chain reaction incident involving commercial and passenger vehicles in Ohio, the National Transportation Safety Board immediately set up a team of experts to investigate the crash and determine the cause.

46 Vehicles Involved in a Chain Reaction Crash in Ohio

On December 24, 2022, four people died in a massive crash involving 46 vehicles on the eastbound lanes of the Ohio Turnpike. The local authorities immediately arranged a charter bus to transport the victims to a safe facility where they could stay warm and receive medical treatment.

A local media reporting the incident shared a picture after the crash occurred. It showed a damaged commercial vehicle, a smashed semi-truck, and many other cars. The police department did not reveal any information on the number of people killed or injured in the collision.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the unfavorable weather conditions could've been the cause of the chain reaction crash. The Police Department asked the locals to stay at home during the harsh storm or take necessary precautions, such as driving slowly or maintaining a safe following distance, to ensure their safety while on the road.

Why Do Chain Reaction Accidents Happen?

Most car accidents happen due to negligence. When a chain reaction crash occurs, there may be multiple contributing factors, some of which may include the following:

  • Distracted driving

  • Drinking while driving

  • Running a red light

  • Failure to yield the right of way

  • Defective motor vehicle

  • Slippery road

  • Wet conditions

  • Making an illegal turn

  • Lack of warning signs

One of the major findings across most chain reaction car accidents is that the drivers are following each other closely. Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles is important, as it allows the motor vehicle operator to take quick action and avoid a collision.

Determining Fault in a Chain Reaction Crash

Determining Fault in a Chain Reaction Crash

Since there are many vehicles involved in a chain reaction crash, determining fault without conducting a proper investigation can be challenging. 

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, the following parties could be responsible for the damages:

The Rear Vehicle

In most chain reaction accidents, the party responsible for the incident is the driver in the vehicle that rear-ends another car. 

The traffic rules and guidelines require drivers to maintain a safe following distance, and failure to do that is an act of negligence, for which they may be liable in the event of a crash.

The Front Vehicle

Although most chain reaction accidents happen due to the rear vehicle, as the driver fails to maintain a safe following distance, it could be possible that the car or commercial truck in the front may be responsible for the incident.

When the front vehicle stops abruptly on a busy road, it could increase the risk of a chain reaction accident. The cars in the rear may not have enough time to swerve, causing them to crash into the automobile in the front.

In such situations, it's crucial to determine why the front vehicle came to an abrupt halt. Was there a defect in the car that caused it to stop in the middle of the road? Did the driver of the passenger vehicle slam on their brakes after seeing an animal or pedestrian in the middle of the highway?

Determining the cause of the chain reaction accident could help identify the person or parties responsible for the incident. These may include the following:

  • A government agency may be liable if the front vehicle crashes or comes to an abrupt stop due to a lack of warning signs, poor road conditions, or faulty traffic devices.

  • The driver in the front vehicle may be responsible if were negligent or distracted on the road.

  • A car manufacturer or repair shop may be liable if the front vehicle abruptly stops due to defective components, resulting in a chain reaction accident.

Most chain reaction accident victims fail to identify the right party responsible for the incident, or they may pursue a claim against one negligent driver or entity when there could be multiple parties liable for the crash. This may result in lower settlements or compensation, adversely impacting the victim's financial situation.

Experienced chain reaction car accident lawyers in Toledo OH at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can allocate the resources to investigate the incident, determine the liable parties, and hold them accountable for the damages caused.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Provides the Best Legal Representation in Toledo, Ohio!

Those who have suffered injuries in a chain reaction car accident in Toledo, Ohio, due to another's negligence should call to schedule a free consultation with the skilled Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, as they can help them get the compensation they deserve.


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