In Ohio yesterday, a multiple vehicle collision left numerous people injured. Reports of the incident, which occurred on I-275 near Cincinnati, indicate that weather conditions deteriorated very quickly causing a whiteout. Oftentimes it is difficult to determine who, if anyone, is at fault in accidents of this type. People involved in these accidents can give very different versions of what happened depending on their vantage points and their level of attention in the split seconds immediately prior to an impact or leaving the roadway. Police departments dispatch accident reconstructionists to the scene to interview witnesses, photograph vehicles, and take measurements of skid marks, to recreate the scene. However, those efforts are often hampered depending on the degree of injuries of the victims involved, and weather and road conditions. Most of the time, these accidents can be attributed to driver inattention, following too closely, or failure to operate a motor vehicle at a safe speed for the conditions.
In Indiana, it may be a defense for a negligent party to argue that they were confronted with a sudden emergency. However, to get the benefit of the Sudden Emergency Defense, and driver cannot have caused the situation that put him in immediate peril. These are complex legal issues that are routinely determined by a court when deciding what evidence a jury will or will not hear. These are not the type of things that are at the top on anyone’s mind who is involved in an accident like this in the moments immediately following. However, it highlights the need to get accurate information as quickly as possible before people’s memories fade, or other crucial evidence is lost. Photographing an accident scene can be very helpful if you are physically able to, and it does not put your safety at risk. Sadly, a young girl was killed in this most recent accident where she apparently tried to exit the vehicle in which she was riding.
Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer who has access to accident reconstructionists can be very valuable when it comes to preserving evidence. No one ever intends to be involved in a accident, be it a simple fender-bender, or a catastrophic multi-vehicle crash; however being prepared for such a situation could prove to be very valuable later when trying to make your case to an insurance company representative, or in a court of law. If you have been involved in an accident, and have questions about your case, please call us for a free consultation.