Big Vehicles, Bigger Damage

truck accident

Bedford, Indiana resident Jeffrey Hatfield, 55, had a little too much confidence early Tuesday morning when he approached a set of railroad tracks. It was 8:20AM on US421 and County Road 200 N about 100 miles from Chicago when Hatfield spotted a train and thought he had time to make it through the tracks before its arrival.

The Amtrak train hit the semi-trailer’s cement mixer with such force that it was split in half and thrown to the opposite side of the road. Hatfield received no injuries, but of the 59 train passengers, 8 of them were taken to the hospital, none of which were reported to have received life-threatening injuries.

Who’s Responsible For Paying The Medical Bills?

The company that Hatfield is/was a driver for is likely to be held liable. Assuming there’s no loopholes in the coverage policy they provide their employees with; Hatfield will likely walk away without having to worry about a single medical bill or court case.

Hatfield is probably looking at an upsetting conversation with his boss when he comes back in. Amtrak spokesman March Magliara is unsure why Hatfield didn’t obey the obvious “train crossing” signs along the road, but it’s likely that Hatfield will be held entirely liable for the accident.

Being employed by a trucking company who is well aware of the risks of putting a driver on the road with heavy machinery, Hatfield’s liability will be handed to his company who should have experience handling these situations. Hatfield may or may not be sued by one or many of the passengers complaining of injuries, but that does not mean it will end with a positive jury verdict for said passenger(s).

What If An Accident Like This Happens in Florida?

The accident happened in Indiana whom, unlike Florida, does not require residents to have Personal Injury Protection insurance. Also known as PIP, this insurance covers yourself and passengers’ medical expenses regardless of fault. In Indiana, residents usually elect to add Bodily Injury Liability coverage to their policies instead. This covers injuries of another party caused by you, not your own injuries suffered by you.

Being a state where it is optional, being at-fault in an Indiana car accident without Personal Injury Protection coverage means the only option for personal medical treatment is health insurance. If this accident happened in Florida, each and every one of those train passengers who met PIP requirements would be covered for up to $10,000 in medical expenses by filing a claim.


You may have been recently involved in a truck accident that left you or a loved one injured. Have you been left with emotional, physical, mental, or monetary loss due to someone else’s negligence? You may be eligible for compensation under many circumstances. Don’t hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation. We’ll let you know of your Florida rights, options, and entitlements and offer to stay by your side in your legal battle. Even if you believe your case is hopeless or you’ve heard from multiple sources that it’s pointless to pursue, Dolman Law Group has the experience and keen eye for detail required to be successful in situations like these.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
Practice Area: Truck Accidents