A single-car accident occurred in Macon when an object flew through the windshield of a car causing injury to the driver. Surprisingly, it's not that uncommon for accidents to occur because of flying debris. According to a study done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths occurred between 2011 and 2014 as a result of debris in the road or debris falling off of other vehicles.
Ways Debris can Cause Accidents:
Flying Debris – When an unsecured or poorly secured object falls off the back of a car or truck, that object can become airborne, thereby flying through the windshield of another car or obstructing a driver's vision.
Objects in the road – Drivers who come upon objects in the road, such as tree limbs, potholes, or poorly labeled construction sites, may hit the object or swerve to avoid it, thereby hitting another car, or running off the road and hitting a pedestrian, a stationary object, or causing their vehicle to roll-over.
Who's to Blame When an Accident Occurs Because of Debris?
- If an object falls off a car or truck, then the injured person must determine which vehicle the object came from and who was at fault. If the driver was acting on his own behalf then he himself is probably responsible. For example, if Jane Doe is transporting furniture in her pickup then she herself is responsible for making sure the items are properly secured. However, if the driver was working and acting in the scope of their employment, then the company he/she is employed by is probably responsible. For example, if a dump truck driver is hauling metal scraps for his employer and a piece flies off the truck and goes thru the windshield of another car, the employer is likely responsible.
- If you hit an object in the road then it can be a little more difficult to prove negligence and determine who is responsible. However, it may be the case that you can file a claim against whoever is responsible for maintaining the roads. This is usually a department within the government, or a private company. First, a claimant must determine who was responsible for maintaining a clear roadway. Once that's determined they must prove that the responsible party was negligent by not keeping the road clear, thereby causing the accident. Government entities are difficult to sue for several reasons: sometimes their liability is limited, they may be entitled to a shorter than usual statute of limitations (the time-frame within which you can file a lawsuit against them), or they may be immune from lawsuits altogether. It's important to get a lawyer quickly who's experienced with handling these types of cases if there's a possibility that a local or state government entity may be involved.
Our firm has handled cases involving roadway defects of all sorts – drop-offs, water accumulation, bad or missing signage and warnings, poor design, bad line-of-sight and other visual obstructions. These are difficult cases, but can be pursued successfully if handled properly. If you think you've been injured because of a defect in a roadway, call us. The first meeting is on us – no charge and no obligation on your part. If we're a good fit with you and we become your attorneys, you can be sure we'll put your interests first and pursue your case the way it needs to be pursued. But don't take our word for it – just take a look at what we've done for many other injured people.