News reports of traffic accidents in Indiana often state that the names of persons involved have not been released because the identities of those persons have not been verified. A striking example of the need for this caution was displayed when the state police revised its accident report to correct a transposition of the names of two drivers involved in a pedestrian fatality.
The car accident occurred on the edge of a construction zone on I-65 when a woman driving southbound on the interstate pulled her car onto the median. She climbed out of the vehicle and walked into the southbound traffic lane. She was struck by a southbound 2015 Volvo that was pulling a trailer. She died instantly. A semi-trailer truck then crashed into the Volvo. Neither the Volvo driver nor the semi driver were injured, but police have ordered toxicology studies on both drivers and the victim. The results of these studies are still pending.
When police released their initial reports of the accident, the driver of the Volvo was listed as the driver of the semi, and the driver of the semi was listed as the driver of the Volvo. In reviewing their notes of the accident, police officers discovered their mistake and announced the correction. If not corrected, this type of transposition of names could cause severe difficulties for both drivers, including potential revocation of drivers’ licenses and defending a lawsuit for damages.
Depending upon the results of a complete investigation, the family of the victim may decide to bring an action for wrongful death against the driver of the Volvo (the semi apparently played no role in the fatal collision). If the misidentification had not been corrected, such a lawsuit may easily target the wrong person as the defendant. Anyone in a similar position who is considering starting a lawsuit should take care to hire an attorney experienced in motor vehicle accidents to ensure that the facts of the accident are correctly reported.