Flying Debris Traffic Accidents

While driving along Texas roads, trash is a common – and potentially injury causing -- sight. A recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found that road debris caused more than 200,000 crashes that resulted in 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths over a four year period.

A driver or company that leaves road debris has a duty to immediately remove it. Berenson Injury Law holds parties who fail to abide by this duty accountable for your injuries resulting from your car accident.

Why road debris is dangerous

You do not expect to see a mattress, tire, construction tools or shards of metal lying in the middle of the roadway. The debris is unexpected and often barely visible, so even the most vigilant driver might not notice until too late to safely react. One-third of road debris fatalities occur when a driver swerves to miss hitting the debris. Because he does not have time to check whether the coast is clear, the swerving driver may crash into a car in the adjoining lane or lose control of his vehicle. In another common scenario, a driver hits the debris and sets off a chain reaction of collisions.

Texas law mandates loads be properly secured

Airborne debris poses the frightening danger of flying through the windshield. Even a relatively small item can cause enormous damage when it hits the windshield at high speed. A cracked windshield that remains intact may suddenly block your vision or the item can crash through the window and penetrate into your car.

Drivers may be charged with a misdemeanor for items that fall off their truck or trailer bed. Texas law imposes fines between $25 and $500 and may be ordered to pay restitution for damages. Commercial drivers and trucking companies may also face regulatory fines for loads not secured to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) standards.

Our attorney proves who is responsible for the debris and the crash

Proving who is responsible for road debris is uniquely challenging. The item may have fallen onto the highway hours or days earlier. By the time you encounter the item, the driver is likely long gone. Most roadway debris is also nondescript with no qualities that link it to a particular person or company.

Our auto crash attorney investigates whether eyewitnesses or video cameras caught the offender’s license plate or, in the case of a commercial driver, the company’s logo and name on the side of the truck. Sometimes the debris itself can give away who did it. For example, a serial number on an automobile part may be traced to a trucking fleet or a construction crew doing work in the area may have tagged their equipment as an antitheft device.

Connecting the debris to whoever is liable opens up opportunities for damages recovery, especially when a corporation is responsible. We pursue the insurance policies of the driver and the corporation, which typically has higher limits. However, similar to a hit-and-run crash, we can sometimes seek recovery under your uninsured motorist policy on claims based upon the negligence of an unidentified driver who left the scene.

Our attorney proves causation in road debris claims

Causation poses another challenge in road debris claims. Your car may not have come into direct contact with the item and yet you would not have wrecked but for the debris that forced you to swerve. A common defense tactic is to put the blame on you. The defendant may argue inattentiveness, speeding or failure to look before swerving into the adjoining lane contributed to the crash. Our lawyer is skilled at drawing a clear line between the debris and your crash and holding the other driver accountable.

Recover for injuries you sustained in a road debris accident in Fort Worth

Berenson Injury Law handles claims involving road debris accidents. Our Fort Worth auto crash lawyer offers you a free case evaluation to discuss your options for recovery if road debris contributed to your accident. Our contingency fee plan allows you to pursue your claim risk free: if there is no recovery of money, you do not owe any money for attorney’s fees or expenses.

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