On February 9, one woman was killed and several people were seriously injured on the I-70 and I-270 interchange in Columbus. The first vehicle struck a freeway attenuator, which damaged and disabled the SUV. The driver got out to inspect the damage, while a passenger remained in the car. Two witnesses from a nearby apartment complex came out to help.

Unfortunately, as the witnesses arrived, another vehicle struck the first one, tragically killing the driver and seriously injuring one witness. Who could be held liable for the accident?

Rear end collisions and personal injury claims

While the exact details of the I-70 accident are unclear, at least partial liability could rest with the second driver. Although no one expects to come across a stopped vehicle on the freeway at 12:30am, legally, rear-end collisions are generally the fault of the following vehicle. That’s because drivers are expected to be alert and aware of potential hazards, and leave enough room between vehicles to allow stopping.

However, sometimes extenuating circumstances lessen or eliminate liability. In this case, whether the first driver had turned on their hazard lights or lit flares could make a big difference: if the scene was completely dark and the first vehicle’s lights were off, it’s harder to prove the following car acted negligently.

Because specific details matter in cases like these, be sure to consult with the Law Offices of Tim Misny to protect your rights. A personal injury attorney can evaluate your claim and explain your individual legal options.

What to do when you’re in a freeway accident

Freeway accidents are particularly dangerous, based on the high rate of speed involved. If you’re involved in a freeway accident, especially at night, exercise caution. Pull over to the shoulder of the road if possible and turn on your hazard lights. Then, stay in your car if it’s safe to do so. Vehicles provide more protection from secondary accidents, which is likely why the I-70 passenger survived and the driver did not.

Once you’ve addressed your immediate safety needs, call law enforcement and emergency medical services, if necessary. If you are physically able, take photos of the scene, the damage and your injuries, after law enforcement has blocked off the lanes. For minor injuries, visit your local urgent care or general practitioner, even if you feel fine. Then call the Law Offices of Tim Misny for help navigating your claim.

Call an Ohio personal injury lawyer today

The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your personal injury case. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 614-9524 so that I can evaluate your case right away.