Flying Debris Car Accidents
We have all had a windshield dinged by a rock flung up by someone’s tires or dodged and avoided a blown semi tire. But sometimes we actually see the debris flying off the back of a truck – and it’s often damaging and could cause serious injuries in a collision. Here’s what you can do if this happens to you.
Contact the Trucking Company
If the truck has a phone number to call on it, you can write this down along with the license plate number and any other identifying features of the truck, (the company name, if the truck appeared overloaded for example). If you feel comfortable doing so, you can also try to flag down the driver of the truck by getting in front of it, putting on your hazard lights, and putting your arm out of the window to signal the truck should follow you off the exit.
If the truck driver does so, be polite as you explain why you asked him to pull over. The truck driver is, in many cases, not the person responsible for securing the load, or the load could have become loose due to mechanical failure instead of driver or loading errors. Which means getting angry at the truck driver will do nothing to help you seek damages. Explain that some debris came off the back of his truck and that you’d like to file a claim with his company’s insurance. Ask for the company’s insurer and the appropriate person in charge. Make sure it’s clear to the driver that you are hoping to make this situation someone else’s problem, not his. However, also be aware if the driver appears drowsy, impaired or intoxicated as that could have played a contributing factor to the accident.
If you’re not comfortable flagging down the driver, call the trucking company and tell them you’d like to file a claim, and ask for their insurance information.
What To Do If You Meet Resistance
Unfortunately, because many people try to get truck companies to pay for a cracked windshield that was already damaged, people with legitimate claims often are met with resistance as the trucking company may not give you their insurance information. The more claims they have filed against them, the higher the premium the company pays, so it’s in their best interest to withhold that information. Here’s what to do if the truck company or the driver refuses to give you the insurance information.
File an accident report with highway patrol or local law enforcement as soon as possible. Note the date, time, and any specific details you remember. If you know what kind of debris came off the truck, make sure you note that as well. Then make a claim with your own insurance company, pay your deductible, and get the damage fixed. Your insurance would rather have the truck company’s insurance pay, so they’ll find out who insures the company in order to get the claim paid, in which case your deductible will be returned to you.
If all else fails, let the trucking company know you’re going to file a claim in small claims court if there where no serious injuries. The threat of litigation is often enough to get the insurance information. If the mere threat doesn’t work, get an experienced lawyer in your corner. Any actual litigation should be handled by a professional – because the trucking company most certainly will have a professional on their side. If you suffered serious injuries due to debris hitting your vehicle from a Truck. Contact Peter Ventura for a free consultation.