Dangers of Falling Debris on the Roadway
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Merrida Coxwell with Coxwell & Associates.
Everyone has seen what appear to be precariously-loaded big rigs chugging along or even speeding down the highway, while surrounding drivers hope that everything on the truck stays on the truck. While in most cases these loads stay exactly where they’re meant to stay, strapped to an 18-wheeler, whenever falling debris does occur, it can create dangerous situations for everyone on the road. Certain types of debris may pose more dangers than others, however, whenever someone is injured due to falling debris on a roadway, the party responsible for that debris may be liable for compensating the injured person’s damages.
Common types of falling debris include:
- Steel beams
- Construction material
- Logs and lumber
- Landscaping debris
- Chemical spills
- Fuel spills
Each of these types of debris presents its own unique hazards. They can create obstacles too large for drivers to maneuver around, bounce and/or break through a vehicle’s windshield and even start fires and that damage the surrounding environment. It is imperative that any and all potential debris be properly secured prior to a drive.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules about how cargo must be secured on a truck.
To prevent large truck accidents and protect drivers, the FMCSA is responsible for a collection of regulations designed with safety in mind. From hours of service regulations that dictate how long a truck driver can travel without rest to cargo securing and loading rules, when a truck driver or company violates these regulations, the consequences can be catastrophic. This is why it’s important to contact a truck accident attorney following any kind of accident with a large truck or 18-wheeler; if a driver or company violated FMCSA guidelines, those parties may be fully or partially liable for any resulting damages to the victim, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
The risks posed by falling debris aren’t terribly different from those posed by a truck accident:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
- Orthopedic injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
While Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payment (MedPay) policies on a vehicle owner’s car insurance policy may help cover some of the initial medical bills, the injuries and damages resulting from a falling debris accident can far exceed what these policies will cover.
If you or a loved one were injured due to falling debris from a semi-truck, it’s important to talk to a truck accident attorney.
Whenever someone is injured due to the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, it’s important to look into every option for recovery. If the cargo was not correctly secured, the driver and/or company could be fully or partially liable for your damages, even if you were partially at fault as well. Considering the extent of the damages typically involved in severe roadway accidents, expenses tend to climb quickly.
Medical bills may be ongoing and victims may need long-term or even lifelong support and/or accommodations as a result of their injuries. Additionally, if an accident victim’s injuries prevent them from engaging with their daily life and relationships like they did prior to the falling debris, impairment of earning capacity and loss of enjoyment of life may also be applicable damages. However, these and more damages can be hard to identify without the help of an experienced professional.
This is why most truck accident attorneys offer free consultations and even work on contingency, which means clients don’t pay for their services unless and until they win their case. This allows the accident victim and their family to focus on healing and recovery, while making sure that each and every one of their current and future damages are receiving the attention that they deserve.
To learn more about the dangers of falling debris from big rigs, or for help investigating your own claim, reach out to a truck accident attorney in your area.