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Massive pileup on 6 makes determining fault difficult

Winter conditions led to a multi-car pileup on Highway 6 Friday morning. How does insurance determine fault, and does it affect our rates?

DENVER — It will likely take months for police and insurance companies investigating a crash on Highway 6 Friday to determine who caused the massive pileup on the icy road during an early morning commute.

In the end, the blame may fall upon many drivers rather than just one.

“Untangling who’s at fault, who caused what crash, you have a domino chain reaction effect. That’s going to take a while,” said Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, which represents insurance companies in the state.

“Multiple drivers may be at fault. Maybe one car started the chain reaction, but then another car hits another car, another car skids,” she said.

Any cars unable to drive away from the scene Friday morning were towed to the parking lot of Mile High Stadium, where drivers could arrange for pick up.

Walker said anyone who was involved in the crash, or gets in a multi-car wreck like the one we saw Friday morning, should immediately contact their insurance company.

“Start with them, see what coverage you have,” she said. “As they do determine fault your insurance company can help you figure that out and even subrogate.”

“The problem when you have a multi-car crash is that multiple drivers were likely at fault… following too closely, not braking, speeding for conditions,” Walker explained.

If police and insurance companies determine many drivers may be at fault, they’ll all pay to reimburse other insurance companies for costs.

“In Colorado we have comparative negligence laws," she said. "What that means is one driver may not be 100 percent at fault. It could be but likely someone is 20 percent, 50 percent.”

> The video above is dashcam video from one of the vehicles involved

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