5 car pile up--how does insurance work?

Four cars waiting at a light, when driver of car #5 had a medical event, and slammed into car #4 at 30 mph. Car 4 hit car 3, etc etc until all were damaged, but much less to car #1, the first in line.

Car’s 4 and 5 were totaled and several injuries.

Insurance agent for the guilty car #5 has notified all the other owners that his insurance policy will not even come close to covering all the damage. Some will receive very little.

My Q: How does the insurance company parse this out?

A: Some sliding scale % to each with the most to the one suffering the most damage?
B: Fully pay for the first car hit, then the next until it hits coverage limi and the rest get nothing?

Un-insured/under insured motorist on your policy.


They all go into a locked room and play the insurance agent’s version of Rocks, Paper, Scissors … :thinking:


On my first day of retirement in the Atlanta area I was in a 10 car pileup on the top end of the Interstate. I was the last car in the chain and after tapping the brakes and ensuring there was no one behind me, jammed on the brakes. As I slowed and almost came to a stop without hitting anyone, a Mustang slid in front of me and I crushed their door. The person causing the wrecks was a younf girl who just got her license and vehicle. She was traveling about 55 or so and saw an obstruction in the road and swerved to avoid it, causing a tractor trailer and the rest of us to pile up.

The police looked at all our documents (did he notice my liecnse had expired a week earlier? If so he said nothing). My vehicle was towed. My insurance company (GEICO) handled everything. I had no cost and my SUV was repaired. I am guessing that the insurance company of the girl handled what it had to and the other companys worked it out behind the scenes.

I as an ‘injured party’ as the they consider us, should not have to worry if we are properly insured ourselves.

If and that’s a big if it is a medical emergency there is no negligence on that driver.

However, that does not appear to actually be the case as they are paying off liability. That said, you said the agent—who has no clue what he’s talking about. The adjuster would

So the others file their car under their collision and the damages under underinsured.
In many states (but not all) underinsured only covers injury not property.

I have handled a number of claims in which the driver had a medical emergency and because the driver had never been told that he should not drive by the treating physician the claims caused by his accident in the absence of negligence on his part.

In one or more of the cases the driver may have actually been dead when the impact occurred.

BTW: This the reason that commercial airliners have copilots.

That’s what I thought, but I’m told his [victim] is covered by UN-insured, but not for UNDER-insured. Confusing.

That appears to be the case on this one. Washington state.