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What to Do If You’re Hit With Debris on the Highway?

Not all auto accidents are vehicle-to-vehicle collisions. Some crashes involve factors such as potholes, animals crossing or debris. Debris could cause a fatal car accident by striking or penetrating a driver’s windshield, interfering with a driver’s ability to see the road, or forcing the driver to veer out of the way. If flying debris or debris in the road caused your recent car accident in Birmingham, one or more parties could owe you compensation for your losses.

Pull Over and Call the Police

Pull your vehicle over in a safe location, out of traffic. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If the flying debris caused any personal injuries or deaths, call the police immediately to report the accident. You do not need to call the police if the debris only caused property damage in Alabama. Once the police arrive, explain what happened in as much detail as possible. Report your accident to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency using an SR-31 Form if it caused injuries or more than $500 in property damages. The agency keeps track of all significant car accidents in the state, even if the police did not need to report to the site of the crash.

Collect Information

While still at the scene of the accident, gather evidence that could help your insurance claim. If the at-fault driver realized what happened and stayed behind, get his or her information. In many flying debris cases, however, the at-fault party does not notice lost cargo and continues driving. Take photographs of any property damage the debris caused, as well as the debris itself, if possible. Write down where you were, what happened, and the time and date. Be as detailed as you can in your initial description of the accident.

Get Medical Care

If debris on the highway gave you or a loved one a personal injury, visit a hospital. Immediate medical care could be critical in preventing more serious injuries, especially if you feel pain in your head or back. It can also show your insurance company you suffered an injury in the car accident and went directly to see a doctor. This can help you fight for fair compensation for your medical expenses from the insurer.

Find Out Who Caused Your Accident

Next, identify the party that may be at fault for your accident. The average roadway can contain many hazards that cause car accidents: potholes, rough roadways, cracks, dangerous construction zones and uneven shoulders. Flying debris, however, is often the result of human error. This could make the person responsible for the debris accountable for your damages.

  • A driver throwing something out of a window
  • A truck experiencing a lost cargo load
  • A dump truck releasing pieces of trash or debris
  • A tire blowout sending pieces of rubber flying
  • Another car accident causing shrapnel in the road
  • A bad storm sending sticks or branches through the air

In cases involving human error, the person or his or her employer could be financially responsible. If a lost cargo load incident caused your car accident, for example, the trucking company could be liable for damages. Lost trucking loads can happen when the trucking company or cargo loaders fail to meet the federal standards of load securement. If debris from a truck caused your crash, you may be eligible for compensation from the company that oversees the truck and/or driver.

File an Insurance Claim

If the at-fault party stayed behind to take responsibility for the debris accident, file a claim with that person or company’s insurance provider. Otherwise, file a claim with your insurance company. Your uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance or comprehensive coverage could pay your bills if you have this type of insurance. If not, you may end up paying for your losses out of pocket. During a claim, an insurance company may try to unfairly limit your payout. A claims adjuster may try to reduce or delay your benefits. Hire a Birmingham car accident attorney to help you work through a debris-related car accident and/or insurance claim in Alabama.