Thousands of car accidents occur in New York City monthly and some of those involve three or more vehicles, otherwise known as a multi-vehicle or chain-reaction accident. While these multi-vehicle collisions are rare compared to other accidents, the damage to people and property is more profound when they do occur.

The multi-vehicle accident lawyers at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. understand New York personal injury law and how to fight for the compensation you deserve for your car accident injuries. While you’re recovering, you can rest assured that we will vigorously pursue your claim. And when money is tight, you don’t have to worry about our fees because if we don’t win, we don’t get paid.

Call today at (212) 490-5700 or use our online form for a free consultation about your multi-vehicle accident.

Common Causes of Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Pileups and chain-reaction accidents can have various causes, but there are some common ones. These include:

  • Distracted Driving: Motorists who are inattentive, especially while using a smartphone to call or text, are often involved in collisions. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that more than 1,000 people are injured daily in accidents were at least one driver was distracted.
  • Unsafe Speeds for Conditions: Speeding or driving at speeds that are too fast for conditions related to weather, construction, or traffic, can reduce stop times and cause collisions leading to a chain-reaction.
  • Bad Weather: Even if driving at proper speeds, bad weather could contribute to a multi-car accident because of slick roads or poor visibility.
  • Drunk or Impaired Driving: The effects of alcohol, illicit drugs, or even those that are legally prescribed could hamper a driver’s abilities, including in reaction times, vision, and hearing.
  • Falling Asleep: The NHTSA estimates every year 100,000 crashes are the result of driver fatigue, also called “drowsy driving.” Dozing off behind the wheel can cause the car drift into another lane or a failure to stop resulting in a rear end collision that could trigger a chain reaction.

Different Kinds of Multi-Vehicle Accidents

The definition of a multi-vehicle accident is a collision involving three or more vehicles. So, if your car is hit by another automobile, although there is more than one vehicle involved, it isn’t a “multi-vehicle” accident. Determining fault can be difficult with just two cars, when there are three of more vehicles involved in the scenarios listed below, the issue of fault becomes even more complicated. That’s why if you’ve been hurt, or a family member killed, in a pileup, you need the help of our NYC car accident attorneys.

Our team will work hard to find the negligent parties at fault for your accident and fight for the settlement from insurers that you deserve as compensation for your injuries. Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. has recovered millions in damages for hundreds of clients just like you.

Multi-vehicle accidents could present as:

  • Chain-reaction: There’s a line of cars and the one at the back hits the car in front of it and causes that car to hit the car in front of it, and so forth.
  • Multiple collisions: A car hits another and they are stopped due to the collision, when a third car hits one of the stopped cars and pushes one of the vehicles into a fourth car. Or a car drifts into oncoming traffic, strikes a car, that then hits another and that car careens into a fourth, and so on.
  • The stop short pileup: There are times when the last car to get hit in a chain reaction might be the one that started it all by stopping suddenly or driving in a way that caused others to react suddenly.

Determining fault can sometimes require intensive investigation and even accident reconstruction by experts. Your compensation could depend on making sure the right parties are identified.

The Consequences of Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Regardless of the cause, pileups expose drivers and passengers to a greater risk of injury and even death. In addition to the likelihood of more serious physical consequences, especially if the crash happened at high speeds, some other reasons multi-car collisions are so dangerous include:

  • Multiple people exiting vehicles: Drivers and passengers who are able, but perhaps in shock, might exit their automobiles after a crash. This puts them a greater risk of additional injury from secondary collisions or vehicles that are trying to get around the crash scene.
  • Emergency responders blocked: When many vehicles are involved in an accident, especially on a busy road, the resulting traffic jam could slow emergency workers needed to treat the injured. If they are delayed, injuries can worsen perhaps leading to death.
  • Fires: When many vehicles are in an accident, the damage is often greater and could include spilling gas and other flammable liquids. There is a greater likelihood of fires and explosions. For those trapped in vehicles this could prove deadly or lead to very serious burn injuries.



Construction Workers Injured on an Exterior Scaffold

Read More Results

What to Do If in a Multi-Vehicle Accident

If you’re in a multi-car accident, you may be traumatized and injured. But if you’re able to exit the vehicle to await help in an area safe from other motorists and out of the way of emergency vehicles, you should do so. But make sure you are evaluated on the scene by EMTs and even if not transported to a hospital, seek a medical evaluation. Sometimes injuries don’t immediately present.

While in a safe place on the scene, and if able, try to get some pictures and make notes about the accident. If others are waiting near you, get names and contact information. When there’s lots of vehicles, all the headaches and frustrations of car accidents are multiplied, so the more information that can be gathered the better our chance of getting you a full and fair settlement of your claim.

Within a few days of your accident, if your injuries allow, you need to contact your own insurance company and then call us. Insurance companies will quickly assign adjustors who are tasked with settling claims as quickly as possible and for those whose drivers are at fault, they are even more motivated. You’ll want to be very careful about what you say to insurance company representatives and never sign anything without legal advice from our experienced car accident attorneys.

Involved in a Multi-Vehicle Accident? Call Us Today

Being in a pileup is traumatizing and can result in life-changing consequences, including serious injuries or death. If you or a loved one has been the unfortunate victim of a multi-car collision, you deserve compensation for your injuries, or your loved one’s wrongful death. But you don’t need the hassle of dealing with your claim on your own. Let our seasoned car accident attorneys take the burden of legal matters from you. We know how to work with insurers to maximize your compensation and if they won’t settle for what you deserve, we have an experienced team of trial lawyers that will fight for you in court.

Schedule a free consultation with a New York multi-vehicle accident lawyer today. If you don’t receive compensation for your injuries, we don’t get paid.

Call (212) 490-5700 or use our online form to request your free initial consultation.


Google Reviews


After meeting a half dozen lawyers at different firms, I decided to go to Hecht, Kleeger and Damashek. As soon as I met Jon Damashek, I knew I had to look no further. Mr. Damashek made me feel at ease…

5 Stars Review 5
Read More
Average 5 out of 5 rating based on 1 Reviews