What Happens if My Car Accident Was Caused by Debris in the Road?

Vehicle accidents can occur in a wide variety of ways, often due to the careless or negligent actions of other drivers. However, there are times when accidents are caused by debris on the roadway itself. This can include objects that fall off of other vehicles, trees and other types of vegetation, animals, items from people’s yards, and more. Here, we want to discuss how you can recover compensation if your accident was caused by railway debris.

Did a Person or Entity Cause the Road Debris?

Things fall on the road. Sometimes, roadway debris is nobody’s fault. Animals get struck by cars, trees fall on the roadway, flash floods or high winds can lead to law chairs ending up in the road, and more. In these cases, if a vehicle strikes this debris and it causes property damage or injuries, it is very likely that no one, in particular, is going to be held liable.

However, there are certainly times when objects in the roadway are there due to the careless or negligent actions of others. If pickup truck drivers fail to secure items in the back of the truck, for example, the truck driver should be held liable if any debris falls out and causes an accident. Additionally, if a commercial truck driver fails to adequately secure their load and anything falls off the truck on the highway or on regular roadways, the driver or the trucking company will likely hold liability for any accident that happens.

The key here is proving liability. Often, debris falls off of a vehicle, and nobody sees exactly where it came from. However, if there is some type of evidence, either an eyewitness or some video surveillance of the debris ending up in the roadway due to the negligence of another, it may be possible to hold them responsible and recover compensation.

Were Duties Neglected by not Removing the Debris?

There are certainly parties that are responsible for clearing debris from roadways, at least public roadways. This includes state, county, or local municipal officials. These officials regularly inspect the streets under their purview to check for any debris that needs to be removed. However, there are times when these officials do not remove roadway debris in a timely manner, and this means they could be held liable in the event an accident occurs.

Typically, for a government entity to be held liable for roadway debris accidents, they will have to have known about the debris and then subsequently failed to adequately remove the debris promptly or warn others about the danger if they could not remove the debris right away. It can be challenging to prove that a government entity knew about the row below debris ahead of time, but not impossible. However, holding government entities responsible for injuries and property damage is a challenging process, and filing deadlines for these claims are much quicker than filing deadlines for typical personal injury and property damage cases.

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident caused by debris on the roadway, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled California vehicle accident lawyer today. Your lawyer will work diligently to recover the compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, property damage losses, pain and suffering losses, and more.