Crashes involving semi-trucks can sometimes turn into chain reaction accidents because when trucks crash, their trailers may jackknife, rollover or separate from the truck. Crashes involving multiple vehicles can be extremely complex when it comes to determining fault.
When a chain reaction accident with a semi-truck happens to you it is important to understand how South Dakota law may impact your case.
What is a chain reaction accident?
A chain reaction accident is a multivehicle accident where the initial collision results in one or more additional collisions. For example, an accident where a semi-truck jackknifed on the highway, causing the driver of a vehicle to impact the truck, which resulted in that vehicle being rear-ended by a third vehicle is a chain reaction accident. These accidents may be the result of the negligence of a single driver, but often involve negligent actions by multiple drivers.
Who is at fault in a chain reaction accident?
Determining fault can be difficult in these accidents. In the above example, if the semi-truck driver’s negligence resulted in the initial collision, the truck driver would be at fault for the damage to the first vehicle; however, if the driver who rear-ended that vehicle was speeding, distracted, following too close or otherwise negligent, that driver may be at fault for the damage that resulted from rear-ending the vehicle that hit the truck.
South Dakota’s comparative negligence law reduces the amount of compensation owed to injured parties by the percentage of damage that the driver caused with their own negligence.