How do car insurance claims work when you’re one of the many claimants in the middle of a hundred car pileup?



How do car insurance claims work when you’re one of the many claimants in the middle of a hundred car pileup?

In: Economics

You usually have some amount of no-fault insurance (where the insurance pays X amount if it’s a situation where nobody is at fault). However that’s usually not very much so you’re generally on your own

If there is a known party to blame for the whole incident then the claim can be made against that party but in blameless claims, you will have to claim your damage on your own insurance

I claimed with my own insurance company. They paid for my repairs less deductible (which I paid). When the vehicle that caused the wreck was identified, their insurance reimbursed me the deductible and I guess the insurance companies then sorted the rest of it out. My collision was only a 4 car incident, though, and I had full coverage on my car.

The purposes of who is at fault is typically up to the local police department. Usually in a massive pileup, there might be one or two guilty parties, but basically everyone in the middle of the pack will be not-at-fault unless there is something very unusual happening.

You’ll go to your insurance with your police report number, and they’ll figure it all out. You don’t have to do any of the leg work of finding out who they’re supposed to go after.

I’ve handled claims with 25-27 cars in a pileup on an icy interstate- for the most part, people just use their own coverage- someone without collision coverage did try to claim our insured struck them, but they had no real proof and picture showed the vehicles several feet apart.

One thing to consider, once an accident happens, and the vehicles are stopped, it becomes an ACDA issue, i.e. they are not liable for the cars behind them crashing into them even if they “started the whole thing”.

my mom was once the last car in a multi car accident – she was cited for following too closely despite having little chance of avoiding the crash

This thread contains a lot of anecdotes which I’m sure are true stories, but a general answer is actually harder to give because laws, regulations, precedents and also agreements between insurance companies vary depending on where you live.