Car accidents are an unfortunate reality on our roads, and they can happen for a multitude of reasons. One often overlooked cause is road debris. Road debris can lead to severe injuries for drivers and their passengers. Who is at fault for damages? In this article we will be detailing the intricacies of determining liability and what steps you can take if you find yourself in such a situation.
Understanding Road Debris-Related Accidents
Garbage and other waste on the road can encompass a wide variety of items and objects, including tire remains, rocks, construction materials, fallen cargo, or any other unknown objects lying on the road. When a vehicle collides with debris it may cause the driver to lose control, swerve suddenly, or sustain serious damage that can trigger a chain reaction of accidents. These accidents can result in property damage as well as severe injuries, and even fatalities.
Negligence of the Vehicle Owner
An owner is responsible for ensuring that their vehicle is maintained, if their vehicle is not properly maintained and as a result drops debris on the road, such as a tire or a bumper, which causes an accident, they may be held liable for the resulting damages.
Negligence of the Local Government
Government authorities are typically responsible for maintaining roads. If it can be proven that the accident resulted from the negligence of the local government, such as failing to repair a sinkhole for any damages that they caused. Because of rules that affect whether governments can be liable, it is important to obtain legal guidance if you seek to hold a government entity liable.
Proving liability in road debris-related accidents can be complex. It is not as simple as it is with a normal car accident as it requires gathering extensive evidence to support your claim. Here are some essential steps to take if you find yourself in such an accident.
Seek Medical Attention
Your health and your safety are your number one priority. Even if you do not feel any serious injuries, it is crucial to seek a medical evaluation immediately. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and getting prompt medical treatment can reveal, and more importantly document, possible injuries.
Document the Scene
When you have been in an accident where liability may be difficult to determine, gathering evidence and documenting the scene is crucial. If and only if safe, try to take photos and videos of the scene. Things to focus on include debris on the road, skid marks, vehicle damages, as well as any other visible injuries. This documentation can be crucial evidence later on.
Contact Law Enforcement
When you have been in a car accident, report the accident to the police and ensure that an official report is files. This report will be valuable to you in reporting any claim to an insurance provider, and may prove useful to determining liability.
Obtain Witness Statements
If there were any witnesses to the accident, be sure to obtain their contact information as well as obtaining their statements on what happened from their perspective. These unbiased accounts can help establish what happened, and can often fill in caps of liability.
Consult with a Car Accident Lawyer
Seeking legal counsel is crucial in navigating the complexities of road debris related accidents. Contacting an experienced car accident lawyer can be extremely helpful, as they possess expert knowledge on how to deal with accidents caused by road debris. A car accident lawyer will fight to protect your rights and pursue the rightful compensation that you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a road debris related accident, the experts at LifeLaw Personal Injury can help you. Our attorneys have over 100 years of combined legal experience and will fight effortlessly to ensure that you receive fair and proper compensation for your injuries and get the medical treatment that you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation, and to discuss your options further.