Interstate 70 westbound in Putnamville, IN was a disaster on Saturday, March 16th. A total of three separate accidents occurred, claiming the lives of two people altogether. The first accident happened during the morning near the exit for State Road 46. It involved two commercial vehicles and five passenger vehicles, resulting in one fatality. The second accident occurred a few hours later at mile marker 17. It is unclear whether it involved only passenger vehicles or commercial vehicles as well. The third accident occurred at mile marker 48.6 and, again, it is unclear what types of vehicles were involved.
Investigations are still ongoing into all three accidents, and the names and ages of the deceased have not yet been released. The Putnam County Sheriff's Department was called in to handle the third accident, as state patrol were handling the first two. All I-70 westbound lanes were closed for hours while crews worked to clear the scenes.
Accidents involving commercial vehicles can be very complex matters, especially where there is no clear determination of fault. Often, they require accident reconstructions and intense evidence collection. If an accident is the fault of the driver of a commercial vehicle, liability will depend on the type of employee he or she was. Truck drivers who are owner-operators usually drive as independent contractors and are therefore liable for their own insurance. In such a case, the driver would likely be solely responsible. If a driver were a company employee, liability may fall on the company itself rather than the driver.
Anyone who is involved in an accident with commercial vehicles could benefit from the advice and guidance of skilled legal counsel. Preservation of evidence in these matters is of utmost importance. Protections should be put in place as soon as possible in case the matter goes to court. Do not delay in seeking legal advice.