I-94 East became the scene of a massive Indiana semi accident on January 23rd, 2014. The fierce winter weather that had been pounding the country for weeks set the stage for tragedy as heavy lake effect snow created near white out conditions. It was reported that I-94, a connecting highway between Chicago and Detroit, was slicked over in ice at the time of the accident.
“It went from sunshine to complete no visibility, so when they entered in, it turned into slide off, crash, crash,” said Indiana Police Sgt. Ann Wojas. By the time all was said and done, 46 vehicles including 18 semis were involved in the Indiana semi accident.
The Difficulty of Legal Liability
Even though weather played such a serious role in the Indiana semi accident, there is a significant problem: § 392.14 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). When hazardous conditions exist, “[e]xtreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle shall be exercised.” It goes on to state that “[i]f the conditions become sufficiently dangerous, the operation of the commercial motor vehicle shall be discontinued and shall not be resumed until the commercial motor vehicle can be safely operated.” The only exceptions that exist to the FMCSRs are in the case of stricter terms outlined by state regulations.
Some auto accident lawyers have speculated that the Indiana semi accident should not actually have involved any semis at all. It is no secret that accidents with semi trucks increase in bad weather conditions. The circumstances do not get much more unsafe than iced over roads, white out conditions, with tens of thousands of pounds of cargo loaded in the trailer.
Then comes the question of liability and pursuit of compensation by an auto accident lawyer. It is an unfortunate set of circumstances involving winter weather that started off the Indiana semi accident; and some people involved believe those semis probably should not have been on the road. The people affected in this accident could have a case if they take the matter up with an auto accident lawyer to pursue damages against the semi drivers or their parent companies. An auto accident lawyer can analyze the situation, help determine who was at fault, and pursue compensation for damages if appropriate. Victims may have immediate injuries that will impact their quality of life, incur medical experiences, result in lost income, and experience pain and suffering. Winter weather does not always excuse blame in a winter weather accident.
Fire Chief Mick Pawlik of the Coolspring Volunteer Fire Department was reported as saying in regards to the massive Indiana semi accident, “it was such a devastating scene. It’ll live with us forever.”
A statement from a first responder at the accident stated that the people that actually experienced the trauma without physical injury may face Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which can and does manifest after such circumstances. Those people should be speaking to an auto accident lawyer as well to ensure their story is cataloged and represented if legal action becomes necessary.
Seek Help From An Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer
There are many circumstances that may arise with an accident involving a semi truck. It doesn’t matter if the weather is poor like in the Indiana semi accident or if it is a clear day. The circumstances that an experienced auto accident lawyer can look into include things like driver fatigue and truck maintenance. A victim in a semi accident most likely does not know everything that has gone on or is going on with the semi truck involved, which is one reason why it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to see legal counsel in order to better understand your rights in your particular situation. Each situation is different, and we are here to help you understand yours and to help you pursue a claim if you decide you have one. Contact the American Injury Attorney Group today. We will provide you with a no obligation, free case evaluation. If you have an actionable case, we can connect you with an experienced auto accident lawyer who will stand up for your rights.