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Iowa crash raises question of when an accident ends

The facts of the accident seem simple enough. On Friday, Aug. 2, construction slowed traffic on Interstate 380 in Black Hawk County, just outside of Gilbertville. The constant moving and stopping, even though it is done at slower speeds, provides an atmosphere in which accidents frequently happen, and on this day it was no different. 

When the driver of a truck saw the breaklights of slowed traffic, he slowed with it. An Econoline Ambulance was following behind the truck, and the driver either didn't see the traffic ahead or failed to put on the breaks in time and rear-ended the truck in front of it. 

Although the facts seem simple enough, the collision in Iowa changed the lives of four people. Both the driver of the truck and the ambulance were transported to Covenant Medical Center where they were treated for their injuries.

The other two people who were injured were uninvolved in the original rear-ending. In fact, they were not passengers in either the truck or the ambulance. The two were riding on a third vehicle, a motorcycle traveling behind the ambulance.

When the driver of the motorcycle observed the collision ahead, he was forced to swerve out of the way. When he swerved, he lost control of the vehicle, causing both him and his passenger to suffer injuries when they were ejected from the vehicle. The passenger's injuries were so severe that she required immediate air transport to Covenant Medical Center.

Although the motorcycle never collided with either the ambulance or the truck, is it still a part of the accident in a discussion over personal injury liability?

Questions over when an accident ends or, in other words, when the liability of a negligent party ends is only one type of question that a personal injury attorney will answer. The answer matters in helping an injured victim obtain the compensation her or she may be eligible for after an accident.

Source: Iowa City Patch, "Iowa City Man Injured in Accident Involving Ambulance, Motorcycle and Truck," Alison Gowans, Aug. 3, 2013

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