A recent study found that over 200,000 car accidents from 2011-2014 were the result of road debris.
Something we have all seen on the roads of St. Louis is road debris. It can be as simple as a piece of trash, a moderate threat like a partial tire tread, or a severe hazard like a piece of equipment. Though you can usually avoid debris and avoid a crash, sometimes you can’t. If this has already happened to you, it is best to speak with a St. Louis auto accident lawyer to discuss your options. If it hasn’t, it will be useful for you to educate yourself on the situation in case it ever does arise.
A recent study by AAA has found that over 200,000 crashes from 2011-2014 were the result of road debris. Those crashes led to 39,000 injuries and a massive amount of financial losses. This study proves that this is not a rare occurrence. It happens all the time and can happen to even the most careful drivers.
Why It Happens
The first reason these accidents happen is that cars themselves are made of potential debris. When a car’s tire pops, or it is involved in an accident, pieces of that vehicle come off and may stay on the road. The second reason is that people are often transporting materials and do not tie them down properly. That can mean gardening equipment falling out of a pickup truck, a mattress flying off the top of a car, or a semi-truck dropping its cargo out of an open back door. With the amount of driving and transporting people do, debris is bound to find itself on the road. When it does, it is not obvious who should remove it. Debris often takes hours to be reported and dealt with.
First Steps After a Crash
The initial steps after your accident are the same as any other. You should first seek whatever level of medical treatment you need, then move on to collecting evidence, obtaining information, and calling the police.
First of all, even if you cannot find another party at fault, your car insurance may cover an accident like this. That will depend on the specifics of your plan, but there is a good chance you will be covered. Next, you may be able to prove the negligence of some other party. That debris could be the fault of another driver throwing something out their window, a company truck not tying their goods down properly, or even a city department not providing cleanup quickly enough. Deciding who is liable is a decision best discussed with an attorney.
Some car accidents are very simple. One driver hits another driver, is found at fault, and is liable for damages. Other times, it is not so easy. One typical example of this is when debris is partially or entirely at fault. When this is the case, you need to consult with a St. Louis car accident lawyer. Once you do, you will likely have a better understanding of the situation and craft a legal plan going forward.