Who is Liable When Road Debris Causes an Accident?
The AAA conducted an important study that showed stunning results: Over 200,000 vehicle crashes happened between 2011 and 2014 due to debris on the road. Between these years, 500 deaths and 39,000 related injuries occurred. Those who are caught causing debris to fly may be fined in many states, which can work as a deterrent. However, these accidents continue to happen and cause turmoil for the people involved.
If you have been injured in an accident due to debris on the roadway, you will have to make your case by proving that the object came from a specific vehicle. Because a responsible driver may actually deny that they were the cause, you may have some troubles proving your claim. Statutes say that people are not permitted to drive a vehicle on a highway with a load unless it is covered and securely fastened. There are many parties that could be identified and held responsible in these cases, including government agencies that are responsible for maintaining the road, or private parties like a trucking company that is responsible for securing cargo reasonably.
How Different Claims Work
If you are making a claim against the government, there are some things you need to know. If potholes or some type of debris was left in the middle of the highway for a certain amount of time, you may have a government-related claim. In many cases, this would be the state or municipal government because they are responsible for road maintenance. These claims, however, can be relatively difficult because the government may have different immunities from these lawsuits. You may have to meet certain requirements to make your claim, which is why you should have an attorney on your side.
If your claim is being made against a private party, you must determine liability as mentioned previously. Everyone on the highway has to take reasonable precautions to keep you from harm. Sometimes witnesses can help in these cases, as well as an understanding of the law and what you should do when somebody has caused an accident.
Because these cases can be complex and there are many laws involved, you will need an attorney on your side every step of the way. We understand the tedious process and can help you with every aspect. Call us today at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi for a consultation.