Getting Hit by Debris While You’re DrivingBy Stewart J. Guss on April 27th, 2018
Six Facts About These Accidents That Nobody Wants You to Know
When you’re driving, you may fear a crash with a drunk driver or that a distracted driver might run you off the road. We all think of possible collisions with other vehicles, but we may not consider other real risks on the road—like debris from other vehicles or trucks hitting your car. This happens more than you think and can cause you to crash your car and suffer serious injuries.
Debris can hit cars in many different ways. Imagine this: A contractor may fill a truck bed with supplies and tools—but fails to secure them. As the contractor drives on the highway, the wind may blow something out of the truck, and it can come flying at your car. Items can hit your windshield—both cracking the windshield and scaring the daylights out of you, or penetrating the windshield and striking you or a passenger! Many drivers may panic, then swerve or crash.
Here are a few things that nobody—other drivers, trucking companies, or insurance companies (including your own!)—wants to tell you. Before we get into this, we will let you know Fact #1: These claims are VERY complex, and you’ll need the help of an experienced law firm in order to prevail. We have more than 20 years’ experience in dealing with debris-related accidents. We know the laws and all the “tricks of the trade,” and we know how to win these cases for our clients—so if you were in an accident caused by debris, call us right now at 1-800-898-4877 or to discuss your case for free.
How Cargo Comes Loose
Fact #2: Flatbed trucks are a major risk when it comes to debris coming loose. These trucks are meant to carry large or awkwardly shaped items such as lumber or machinery. When someone doesn’t properly secure items, they can fall off and hit other vehicles. Proper cargo loading and security is so important that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) keeps specific regulations for how to do it. This doesn’t mean that everyone follows the regulations, however. You often hear about lumber and construction equipment falling off a flatbed truck and causing a major crash involving many cars.
Fact #2.5: Other vehicles can allow debris to fly loose, too. Many cars and SUVs feature bike racks, cargo carriers, and other equipment. A bike rack that malfunctions or an improperly secured bike can come off the car and crash into cars behind it. While we don’t think of bike racks as particularly dangerous items, people can suffer serious injuries if a bike comes loose.
Like any accident, you want to know whom you can hold liable for your losses, which can include medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Fact #3: First, we should, obviously, always take a look at the driver of the truck or vehicle. Did that person fail to properly secure the items that turned into debris, or drive erratically and cause the items to come loose? Answers to these questions can indicate driver negligence.
Fact #4: Vehicles that produce flying debris are often owned by corporations—like construction firms or trucking companies. In many cases, you can hold these companies liable for the actions of the employees who drove or loaded the truck dangerously. You need an attorney who knows when to hold corporations liable, as they usually carry large insurance policies that can cover your losses more easily.
The first step after this type of accident is generally to file an insurance claim with the provider of the liable party.
Fact #5: As usual, you can bet that insurance adjusters will look for any way possible to limit your payout—even if they admit liability!
Adjusters will say you can trust them to help you—but really, they’re willing to use anything you say to reduce your settlement offer. They can reduce your settlement by claiming:
- This accident didn’t cause all of your injuries
- You didn’t need all the treatments you received
- You could have returned to work before you did
- You have the ability to make a living despite disabling injuries
- You won’t need as much medical treatment in the future as you claim
- You exaggerated the pain and suffering that you felt
Just because you claim a certain amount of losses—even if you provide evidence of your losses—does not mean that insurance companies will automatically offer you that amount. They will almost always see if you’ll accept a lowball offer first—and it can take skilled negotiations by an experienced attorney to get them to increase settlement offers to the amount you deserve.
In some cases, an insurance policy won’t cover your losses or an insurance company refuses to make a reasonable offer. In this situation, you’ll need to file a personal injury lawsuit. This complicated process calls for a personal injury attorney at Stewart J. Guss’s firm who will zealously fight for the compensation you deserve.
The Driver Often Doesn’t Realize What Happened
In many of these accidents, drivers may not even know that debris flew off their vehicles and caused injuries. If they just keep driving, you may not identify the driver at all, so you can’t hold that person liable for your losses.
All hope is not lost, however, as your uninsured motorist policy should cover losses in this type of accident.
Fact #6: Even though it’s your own policy doesn’t mean the insurance company will make it easy. Your own insurer will also want to limit payouts when possible—even though you pay monthly premiums! If you think you may need to file an uninsured motorist claim, seek help from an experienced car accident lawyer. A lawyer will help you prove that another vehicle caused your accident, as well as the extent of your losses.
Our National Car Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help!
Whether you need to file an insurance claim with a third party’s policy, an uninsured motorist claim, or a personal injury lawsuit, talk to an attorney at the law firm of Stewart J. Guss as soon as possible. Our lawyers will not only take the stress off of you, but will also do everything possible to make sure you receive the full amount of financial recovery to which the law entitles you.
The lawyers and legal professionals of recognized car accident law firm, Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, with principal offices in Houston, Texas, has spent 20 years helping victims protect and preserve their rights after any type of traffic accident—whether you got hit by debris or another vehicle. Our law firm represents clients nationwide and we hope to be able to help you. If you were injured after debris struck you or your vehicle, or in any other type of car or truck accident, call our office right now to schedule a free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. To schedule your case evaluation, call us today at (800) 898-4877 or contact us now by clicking HERE.