A tragic accident occurred last month when a man and his two children were killed when the car they were travelling in crashed into a semi-truck which was slowing down to avoid a separate accident in which another semi-truck spilled nitric acid on the roadway.
It was around 10:40 P.M. on April 14 when a semi-tanker carrying nitric acid rolled over on I-65, near route 10 in Jasper County. The accident closed down part of the northbound traffic on the interstate and slowed traffic on the roadway. Around 11:40 P.M., a separate semi-truck was slowly driving past the rollover when a man from Renesselaer, Indiana was driving a Toyota Sequoia northbound on I-65 with three children in the car. According to an article by ABC affiliate WLS, the Toyota failed to slow down for the accident and rear-ended the semi-truck. The man and two of his children were killed in the crash, and the third child was treated at a nearby hospital
Existing Accidents on Roads can be Extremely Dangerous
It appears that this tragic accident was caused in part by the first accident, which led to lane closures and slowing on I-65 leading up to the collision. Unfortunately, this is a common contributing factor to Indiana auto accidents, because drivers often fail to slow down, or slow down soon enough, to safely pass by an existing accident. When injury or death is caused in a crash that may be related to an existing accident on the roadway, it can be difficult to determine who should be liable for any damages resulting from the accident.
Comparative Negligence and Intervening Causes
In an Indiana accident lawsuit, there are doctrines that courts use to assign liability to various parties that may have contributed to the cause of an injury. Comparative negligence is a method for a court to reduce or possibly eliminate the damages that a plaintiff receives from a negligent defendant. Comparative negligence is relevant when negligent behavior of the plaintiff contributed to the cause of an accident, therefore reducing the fault of a negligent defendant. An intervening cause is an event that occurs after an initial act of negligence, which is not the responsibility of the defendant, and may absolve the defendant of liability for the victim’s injury. In multi-car accidents, or accidents that occur as a result of an existing accident, defendants may argue that comparative negligence and/or intervening causes eliminates their liability. Sometimes, a plaintiff will not be entitled to relief even if the defendant was shown to be negligent. Whether comparative negligence or intervening causes actually apply to a certain case can be a complicated question of law, and plaintiffs may struggle to avoid these defenses.
Have You Been in an Accident?
If you have been in an auto accident, whether it was caused in part by another accident or not, it is important to consult with a skilled Indiana personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Defendants and insurance companies have lawyers working on their side from the beginning, and will try and use any and all tools at their disposal to avoid paying damages to an injured plaintiff. The lawyers at Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse are skilled advocates for Indiana accident victims, and know how to overcome the defenses that so often get defendants off the hook. Give us a call today at 888-532-7766 to schedule a free consultation, or access us online.
Off Duty Indiana Police Officer Likely Faces Criminal Charges in DUI Death, Indiana Accident Attorneys, April 11, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court Reverses Lower Courts’ Rulings, Allows Malpractice Suit to Continue, Indiana Accident Attorneys, April 4, 2014.