Man sought after crash leaves 37-year-old woman dead
Police are seeking a 39-year-old man in connection with a Sept. 17 fatal car accident in Indiana. Several area media outlets covered the crash after reports emerged that the Pennsylvania man had remained in his wrecked Ford Explorer SUV with the body of his deceased 37-year-old girlfriend for three days before seeking help. The man is facing several charges including false informing and failing to report a dead body.
The woman died when the SUV the couple were traveling in stuck a tree after plunging down a ravine off U.S. Route 50 in Jennings County. The man says that he lost control of the vehicle when his girlfriend showed him a photograph on her phone. He also claims that he was not fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash, and he says that his girlfriend was not wearing her seat belt.
However, the Indiana State Police have a number of problems with the man’s account of events. They say that he lied about the cause of his injuries and initially made no mention of his dead girlfriend. They also point out that there was a working cellphone in the vehicle. Police believe that the man may have misled them due to fears over an open failure to appear warrant related to a harassment charge in Pennsylvania.
The defendants in car accident lawsuits sometimes claim that the plaintiff could have avoided injury, or suffered far less severe injuries, if they had acted more responsibly or taken more care. These arguments are often made when car accident victims were not wearing seat belts or distracted the drivers involved in some way. Experienced personal injury attorneys could explain to accident victims that Indiana law allows them to recover damages even if they acted negligently themselves provided that their negligence was not greater than that of the plaintiff and they did not cause the crash in question.
Source: FindLaw, “Indiana Negligence Laws“, sourced as of Oct. 5, 2016