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Who is Responsible for Damage Caused by Road Debris?

Motor Vehicle AccidentsAccording to the National Safety Council, approximately 27,000 motor vehicle accidents occur every day in the United States, ranging anywhere from minor "fender benders" to high-impact crashes that result in severe injuries or death. Each year, more than 32,000 people die in car accidents throughout the U.S., and 3,000 of these fatalities occur in California.

No matter the size of the incident, a car crash can be physically, emotionally, and financially traumatic. In some cases, the liable party is immediately identifiable. In others, it may be difficult to ascertain the guilty party to recuperate some of the losses. For example, if damage or severe injury occurs as a result of contact with unexpected road debris, who is responsible for repairs?

The Problem of Road Debris

As drivers, we must not only be aware of the driving habits of other drivers; we must also be vigilant of dangerous conditions on the road, including items that have fallen from other vehicles or have otherwise obstructed traffic. Potential road debris hazards can take on nearly any form, from furniture and mattresses to tire treads left from big rigs. These items have the potential to not only cause severe damage to the undercarriage of a vehicle, but they can also become airborne and come crashing through the windshield of an unsuspecting driver. More than once, drivers have been impaled by a metal pole or piece of lumber that became a projectile. One study indicated that nearly two-thirds of debris-related accidents stem from parts falling off of unmaintained vehicles or unsecured loads.

Debris-Related Accidents are Preventable

Accidents due to road debris are not only hazardous, but they are also entirely preventable. Simple routine maintenance to ensure vehicles are in working condition, with proper tire pressure and free from rust, mitigates some of the danger. Securely loading objects such as appliances, pieces of furniture, and lumber with tie-down straps will also decrease road hazards. Even smaller items that would not necessarily cause damage can lead a driver to react in such a way that they lose control of their vehicle, causing collisions that can result in severe injuries. Drivers should adequately secure every load, every time.

A Monterey Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Each state has specific laws regarding who is to blame for road debris damages and injuries. In California, the driver of the vehicle causing the debris is liable. However, as the victim, you must prove that the negligent driver was at fault for your injuries. At Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P., our Monterey County car accident injury attorneys will help you demonstrate liability and pursue financial compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other losses from the responsible party. Contact us today at 408-289-1417 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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