We’ve all seen road debris on the highway, or the streets of downtown Kansas City: a mattress pried loose from a truck here, a car bumper from an accident there. While many drivers are lucky enough to avoid hitting debris, some people can’t avoid an impact, and suffer serious injuries as a direct result. The problem is increasing so rapidly that the AAA foundation has attributed 39,000 injuries to road debris just between the years of 2011 and 2014. The risk of injury from debris is even higher when you’re in a car accident, as collisions can be unpredictable.
If you’ve been injured by car wreck debris, you may be eligible for damages – but without the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney, it’s highly unlikely you will receive adequate compensation for your injuries. Our car accident attorneys discuss what makes these cases so complex, and what you should do to pursue justice.
Who Is Responsible for Road Debris?
It may seem self-evident that the driver who dropped the debris is responsible for it, but as with many areas of the law, it’s much more complex than it seems. While there are indeed instances where road debris is directly attributable to the driver, the question remains: How can you identify the correct owner in the first place? A strip of a tire doesn’t contain any identifying evidence other than the prospective make and model, nor does garbage say much about its careless thrower. However, depending on the circumstances of your injuries, you may be able to identify the liable party by paying attention to the details.
Below are a few instances where another party could be held liable for your car wreck debris injuries:
- When you witness the debris falling with your own eyes. Witness testimony, provided you remember the details of your accident clearly enough, can be a compelling force in personal injury litigation.
- When there is clear identifying information on the road or car wreck debris. It may not happen often, but there could be a phone number, address, company name, or other notable information included on the cargo. Before you leave the scene of an accident, always make sure to gather as much information as possible to assist with prospective claims.
- When the debris belonged to a commercial truck driver. If a truck carrying heavy cargo released debris, either the individual or the truck carrier that hired them could be held accountable for your injuries. Both are responsible for protecting other drivers from harm.
What Can I Do if I’ve Been Injured by Car Wreck Debris?
The first thing you need to do is file a police report, and gather as much evidence as you can. If it’s clear your accident was caused by another’s carelessness, whether through direct impact or a swerve maneuver to avoid the obstacle, you will need this information in order to pursue a successful case against the offending party.
You also need a lawyer who is experienced in personal injury, specifically car accidents. The laws governing driver negligence and penalties for personal injury vary dramatically depending on which state you’re in, so if you’re in Kansas, you may need different counsel than someone injured in Missouri. Fortunately, our attorneys at DiPasquale Moore can help you either way, as we handle cases throughout Topeka and Kansas City alike. Combining 100 years of legal experience with high customer satisfaction ratings, we can help determine whether you have a case, and fight for the compensation you deserve.