UPDATE: Sgt. Eric Knowlton, David Midcap, Kaycie Hanson, Matthew Henry Injured in Washington County, OH, Truck Accident
UPDATE (April 12, 2019): An accident report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol identified others involved in the crash. They were 53-year-old David Midcap, 20-year-old Kaycie Hanson, and 19-year-old Matthew Henry. All three were transported to area hospitals with injuries thought to be minor. The crash report is available in the Commentary section below.
Washington County, OH -- March 15, 2019, Sgt. Eric Knowlton and two other people were injured following an accident where an 18-wheeler crashed into a patrol car.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol released preliminary details surrounding the accident which they say happened at around 7:45 a.m. a few miles north of Marietta along I-77.
Police said that one of their troopers, Sgt. Knowlton conducted a traffic stop along the side of the interstate. While doing so, an 18-wheeler crashed into both vehicles and ran off-road.
As a result of the collision, Sgt. Knowlton and two other people were taken to local hospitals for treatment. Sgt. Knowlton reportedly had to be airlifted to Columbus but is said to be in stable condition.
At this time, it's unclear if police plan to file charges or citations. Investigations continue.
Map of the Area
For the sake of discussion, let's take these reports at face value, that the truck apparently messed up and injured three people. Most people understand that civilians can pursue a personal injury claim against the trucking company, which of course requires thorough investigations and a properly built case. But when officers are injured in a crash, the situation can become quite complex. Most people just assume workers' comp will cover their injuries, and a lot of officers go down that road. What many of them find, especially when seriously hurt, is that workers' comp is far from sufficient.
We litigated a truck accident case where a motorist minding his own business in traffic was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler. Since the victim was a truck driver himself, he tried to go through workers' comp. After a while, they came back and told him they weren't going to pay for the surgery he needed--a spinal fusion due to a fractured disk. They were all too happy to pay for the cheaper pain treatments, which ultimately would leave him in pain for the rest of his life, rather than pay for the surgery that would actually fix the problem.
Many people who go through workers' comp find out that they're completely at the whims of stingy adjusters and incompetent doctors. Those looking to get proper treatment quickly usually need to pursue a resolution on their own, which is where personal injury claims come in.
When injuries are caused by an outside party, even people with a workers' comp claim may also have a claim against that 3rd party. I the above example, our client got the treatment he needed and deserved because we were able to hold the trucking company accountable for their driver's mistake. It's important that people understand these options are available, and that workers' comp is not the only path for recourse.
--Grossman Law Offices