Driving behind large trucks, especially on the freeway, can be frightening and dangerous. In many cases, if you are directly behind a large truck, the driver cannot see you. In addition, when you’re directly behind a big truck, you often cannot see what’s happening on the road ahead of you, which can lead to sudden stops and traffic pileups.
In addition to issues like that, many trucks, like dump trucks and big rigs with flatbed trailers, have items in the back of the truck that fall off on occasion. There are few things you’ll experience that are scarier than having something fly off a truck’s trailer and make a beeline for your vehicle. You often don’t have time to react before it hits your car or pickup truck.
If you’re lucky, the item is small and does little to no damage to your vehicle. Even if the damage is relatively minor, such as a chipped windshield, the fact that it happened isn’t okay for a variety of reasons, and those responsible for it should be held accountable.
Who’s Responsible If Items Fall Off a Truck and Hit My Car?
Determining who is responsible when items fall off trucks, and whether they can be held accountable, can be difficult.
In some cases, trucks, especially dump trucks, have a sign on the back claiming that they aren’t responsible for windshield damage suffered because of items that fly from their beds or trailers and hit other vehicles.
In other instances, a driver may suspect that an item that struck their vehicle fell off a truck, but they may not have witnessed it or don’t have enough information to prove it.
However, if a driver of a vehicle witnessed and/or can prove an item that hit their car fell off a truck, in some cases, they may be able to hold the trucker or trucking company responsible for any damage to their vehicle or injuries they suffered because of it.
What Should I Do If Items Fall Off a Truck and Hit My Car?
To a certain extent, when items fall off a truck and hit another vehicle, it is considered a traffic accident, just like if two vehicles collided.
After an item or items fall off a tractor-trailer truck, dump truck, or even a pickup truck and hit another vehicle or vehicles, those drivers whose vehicles were struck should pull over and call the police. In addition, if anyone suffered injuries in the incident, 911 should be called (and aid rendered if possible) to ensure emergency medical services is on the way as well.
In many cases, the truck that had items fall off it will keep going. This is usually because the driver does not yet realize anything fell from their truck. Those in vehicles that were struck should try to note any information they have about the truck, including a license plate number and vehicle description. That information should be mentioned to the police when they take your statement.
In addition, get the contact information of any other drivers involved in the incident, as well as any witnesses.
When you give your statement to police, tell the truth. However, don’t admit fault. You should also wait to report the incident to your insurance provider until after you have discussed your situation and options with an experienced car accident attorney.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys Today
For nearly a century, the personal injury attorneys at Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner, PLLC have been fighting for the rights of injury victims and their families throughout West Virginia. Negligent truckers and trucking companies must be held accountable when their actions lead to others suffering damage to their vehicles or property, sustaining severe injuries, or losing their lives.
In the aftermath of truck accidents, victims and their families often struggle to deal with permanent injuries, loss of ability to work, the death of a family’s breadwinner, and mounting debt. A truck accident lawsuit can help victims and their families secure the compensation they need for hospital bills, loss of income, rehabilitation costs, and living expenses. In addition, a successful legal claim can help prevent negligent truckers and trucking companies from hurting others in the future.