A 26-year old driver was seriously injured when, after striking a highway barrier with his car, a semi-truck plowed into his vehicle. Also stopped on the road was a second vehicle whose driver halted to render assistance to the driver of the first. While no injuries from the second vehicle were reported, the semi truck actually plowed into both vehicles before they could clear the road.
It is unclear what caused the driver of the first vehicle to strike the barrier in the first place, but the entire accident remains an open investigation. The accident happened in Illinois, just past 1:30 am on March 13th, 2013.
Being a Great Good Samaritan
The driver of the second vehicle in the situation above is fortunate that he did not suffer the same fate as the driver of the first, but considerable amounts of damage could have been avoided if the response by the good samaritan had been more cautious.
While it is understandable to want to help other motorists after an accident, the best way to help is to first pull over to the side of the highway, or exit the highway completely, before calling for emergency responders. Stopping in the middle of the road creates another hazard that oncoming traffic may not be able to see in time to react, and creates the real risk of serious injury to the good samaritan who may not be paying attention to oncoming traffic at all.
By getting off the road to call emergency responders, a good samaritan can ensure that he or she will be out of the danger zone while the call is made, and that the call won’t distract from his or her own driving.
When a person suffers an injury because of the negligence or recklessness of another, that injury victim generally has a right to seek compensation from those involved in causing the injuries. Unfortunately, finding fault and determining who to seek compensation from is not always easy. This is why an experienced truck accident attorney should be allowed to review the facts of a case and offer advice on the best course of legal action.
In cases involving a chain of events and several different people, no single person may be entirely to blame for an injury and, in some cases, the law will even reduce a person’s recovery by his or her own level of fault. This means that a person who contributes to his own injuries recovers less in court than the person who contributes in no way at all. Most states use comparative negligence as the basis for splitting damages while few (mostly on the east coast) use contributory negligence doctrine.
To make sure they pursue the appropriate level of compensation from the appropriate parties, injury victims are encouraged to seek out professional legal advice before moving forward with any personal injury claim.
The case involving the semi truck and the two vehicles stopped on the highway remains an open investigation, but there are several possible outcomes that can be speculated based on the facts as they have been reported so far. The driver of the semi truck might face civil charges for the injury because it was his truck that slammed into the two vehicles, the good samaritan could face civil charges for blocking the road with the second vehicle and, in effect, doubling the size of the hazard of the road, and the injured driver may even face civil charges if the original crash which set the chain of events in motion was avoidable if not for his own negligence or recklessness.
Each case is different and will depend on the facts involved and the jurisdiction where the case is tried.