Liability will be a hotly disputed issue in a recently filed Indiana truck accident lawsuit.
According to NWI.com, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of a 35-year-old man with autism who suffered significant brain damage and multiple fractures when the medical transportation van in which he was riding was broadsided by a semitrailer. His 72-year-old father is seeking damages for help with medical bills and other expenses that will be associated with his now-constant care. Although his son was not fully independent before the accident, he had much higher function than he now does. He had been on his way to a trade workshop at the time of the crash.
The father said his son would soon be transported home from the hospital, and the elderly man is the only one available who can render his care.
The crash, which occurred in the Ambridge neighborhood of Gary, killed a 57-year-old passenger in the van and also injured two others in the van, as well as the driver of the truck.
The plaintiff’s attorney was quoted by local media as saying he believes both drivers bear some degree of responsibility for the accident. Specifically, he said the truck driver ran a stop sign, while the van driver should have yielded to the truck. The fact that the trucker took no evasive action, he said, raises questions of whether the truck driver was speeding, texting, or poorly trained.
The trucking carrier, meanwhile, has expressed confusion, saying it isn’t sure why the plaintiff has filed a lawsuit against the trucking company when “it’s obvious” the van driver “pulled out in front of my guy.”
Local law enforcement agencies, including the Lake County Sheriff’s Office traffic reconstruction unit and officers from the Gary Police Department, are working to piece together the exact cause.
The plaintiff said it was necessary to file the Gary truck accident lawsuit immediately because he sought an injunction to preserve evidence of the crash, including that gleaned from the truck’s “black box.” That box could contain key information about the time of impact, the speed at which the truck was traveling, and whether brakes were applied.
The issue of causation is likely to become more prominent as this case continues. While the plaintiff concedes both drivers may have been in the wrong to some extent, the defendant alleges it was clearly the van driver. It should be noted that in Indiana, the courts recognize strict several liability, as opposed to joint liability. What this means is each party is liable only for its own specified obligations. So unlike with joint liability, if one defendant is unable to satisfy the obligation, that responsibility isn’t going to pass over to other parties.
This could also mean the plaintiff is planning on filing a claim against the van driver once more facts come to light.
The plaintiff in this case was smart in that he involved a truck accident lawyer within just one week of the crash. This should help to preserve evidence, as well as immediately get a jump start on a claim against a defendant likely to ultimately face numerous claims for injuries and wrongful death stemming from the same incident.
Indiana Injury Attorney Burton A. Padove handles personal injury claims throughout northern Indiana, including Highland, Gary and Hammond. Call Toll Free 877-446-5294.
Lawsuit filed in fatal Tuesday crash, May 19, 2017, By Bill Dolan, NWI.com
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Indiana Truck Accident Verdict of $2.1M Affirmed by Appellate Court, June 2, 2017, Gary Truck Accident Attorney Blog