Troopers from the Indiana State Police Department recently responded to an accident involving a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle on I-70. The initial crash report states that Judith Minar, 78, of Brazil, Indiana, was driving a passenger vehicle and attempted to merge onto I-70 westbound from the Brazil exit at the 23-mile marker. While merging, Minar failed to see a semi-truck driven by Troy Pina, 40, of Smyrna, Georgia, also traveling in the westbound lane.
Minar’s vehicle sideswiped Pina’s semi, causing a collision that forced Minar’s vehicle into a spin. The vehicle eventually stopped facing eastbound in the westbound lane.
Pina’s semi traveled off the north side of I-70 and rolled onto the driver’s side, trapping Pina. Bystanders at the scene rendered lifesaving first aid to Pina until first responders arrived at the scene. Upon the arrival of the first responders, Pina was extracted from the vehicle and transported via life flight to a hospital in Indianapolis for further medical care.
Who is at Fault in a Semi-Truck Accident?
Many drivers may assume that the commercial semi-truck is at fault anytime an accident involves a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle. People often believe this because when a semi-truck is involved, it typically only suffers minimal damage, while the passenger vehicle may sustain severe damage.
Fault is not based on which vehicle or person sustains more injury or damage but by which party’s actions were more negligent. Witness statements and accident reconstruction often help determine this. When the police arrive at an accident scene, they will collect witness information and statements along with any relevant evidence related to the accident.
Police and insurance companies will also assess how much damage there was to the vehicles to help determine who was at fault for causing the accident.
Ohio law relies on the premise that both drivers may be at fault when establishing car accident liability. The claim adjusters and the court apply the modified comparative negligence rule to determine who should pay compensation.
Ohio utilizes a theory known as comparative negligence. This concept allows both drivers to share in the cost of damages if they were both negligent. For example:
- If you are in an accident and the other party is 100% negligent, they will cover 100% of your losses and their own
- If you are in an accident and found to be negligent, but by less than 50% (such as 20%), you would recover 80% of your damages under the theory of comparative negligence
- If you are found to be over 50% negligent, you cannot recover any losses. So, if you are 70% liable, you will be responsible for 70% of their damages
It is important to remember that police reports are not definitive documents that determine your fault or negligence. Hiring an attorney is essential when you are seriously injured in an accident.
Even if the police report states that you were at fault for the accident, it may be revealed after hiring an attorney that the other driver was texting, speeding, or distracted in some other way, as attorneys and their legal team will be able to gain access to phone records and the vehicle’s onboard monitoring system. This information could lower your percentage of negligence, making it so that the other driver will be liable to pay for your injuries, economic losses, and pain and suffering from the accident.
Contact an Attorney if You Were Injured in a Truck Crash
Contacting an attorney after a severe injury accident is essential to your case. The experienced accident attorneys at Charles Boyk Law Offices will review your case and explain your legal options. Contact our law office today for a free consultation.