A semi-truck hit a pedestrian on Interstate 65 around 3:30 p.m., April 29, 2019, and the pedestrian died at the scene. According to the Indiana State Police, the pedestrian was struck in a construction zone on I-65 near the 58 mile-marker.
Police also said that just after hitting the pedestrian, the semi-truck was rear-ended by another semi-truck, but there are no reports of any other injuries. It’s unknown at this time why the pedestrian was on the interstate at the time of the collision, and the accident is still under investigation.
Semi-Truck and Pedestrian Accidents
One look at a semi-truck, and it’s obvious that any collision with a pedestrian is going to be dangerous for the pedestrian. A semi-truck fully loaded can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, and even a slow-moving truck can seriously injure or kill an unprotected person.
According to a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are around 5,000 people killed each year by semi-trucks. Out of those, 14 percent or, 700 people, were pedestrians. The report also said that the highest risk for pedestrians being struck by a semi-truck is on a freeway or a multi-lane highway. Nearly 53 percent of all semi-truck v. pedestrian fatalities happen on these freeways and multi-lane highways.
Pedestrian Injuries in Semi-Truck Accidents
When a pedestrian is struck by a semi-truck, the chances of a fatality are higher than when a person is struck in a car. This is for the obvious reason that a car offers some protection whereas a person outside a vehicle has none.
This causes certain typical injuries when someone is hit by a semi-truck. Some of the most common are:
- Traumatic Brain Injury: Without the protection of a vehicle or helmet, a person is vulnerable to a significant head injury including a TBI.
- Broken bones: Broken arms, legs, and ribs are all common injuries that happen when a semi-truck strikes a person.
- Blunt Force Trauma: When trucks and people collide, the impact can be violent and cause blunt force trauma injuries that can cause severe injuries or even death.
- Fatalities: Sometimes these injuries cause death, and when they do, there could be a claim for a wrongful death.
Liability and Wrongful Death
If you’ve been hit by a semi-truck as a pedestrian or lost a loved one in an accident, you may have a claim for compensation from the owner or driver of the truck. Most commercial trucks are required to have a minimum of $750,000 liability for injury and property damage, and it’s the industry standard to have over a million in coverage.
Thus, if the truck is owned by an independent contractor, then the driver will almost always have that coverage. If the truck is owned by a company, then the company will have at least that minimum in coverage.
If there is a death, the family members can file a wrongful death claim based on the relationship with the deceased. Damages for loss of companionship, consortium and support can all be claimed in a wrongful death case.
Do I need an Attorney?
If you are injured by a semi-truck or other large commercial truck, you might wonder if you need an attorney. The truth is, many times you don’t. However, if you don’t have someone looking out for your interests, then you are left with relying on the insurance company to treat you fairly. It is the insurance agent’s job to pay you as little as allowed.
Call us at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, and you can talk to an attorney with no cost to you. If you hire us, we will stand behind you to make sure that you are treated fairly and that you get the highest compensation allowed by the law.