(866) 984-0113 call for your free personal
injury case consultation
Click for your free personal injury consultation
Click for your free personal injury consultation

What Happens If A Piece of Debris Causes Your Car Accident?

April 22, 2024

If a piece of debris on or near the roadway caused your vehicle accident, you may think you are just about the unluckiest person in Kentucky. However, these types of incidents happen more often than you may realize. Roadway debris, whether natural or human-made and discarded, can wreak havoc on our vehicles.

But what exactly are you supposed to do after a piece of debris causes an accident? What is the process for recovering compensation for your property damage or any injuries that occurred?

How Common Are Debris Accidents?

Debris causes an accident

Information provided by the Kentucky Department of Transportation indicates that there were 1,071 total vehicle accidents caused by roadway debris reported to state authorities during the most recent reporting year of data on file. However, not every accident caused by a roadway debris gets reported, so this figure is likely not entirely accurate.

The reality is that roadway debris accidents can occur anytime and on any roadway. Sometimes, these incidents happen by complete accident, meaning there is nobody to blame for any injuries or property damage that occur as a result of the incident. 

However, there are times when debris on the roadway is there due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual or entity. This can include individuals hauling debris in their pickup trucks and losing some of it on their way to their destination. This can also include debris left by municipal authorities or debris that officials failed to clean up in a timely manner.

Determining Liability for Roadway Debris Incidents

Determining liability in roadway debris accidents can be complex, as various parties could be responsible. Commonly, the person or company that lost the debris would be liable if they failed to secure their load properly. However, identifying this party can be challenging unless the debris can be directly traced back to its source. 

In some cases, government entities may also hold liability, especially if the accident was caused by debris from construction projects or not clearing debris that they were notified about or should have been aware of. Trucking companies, contractors, and other drivers are typically scrutinized in such cases.

Possible Compensation Available from a Roadway Debris Accident

Victims of roadway debris accidents may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages, depending on the severity of the incident and the clarity of liability. This compensation can cover:

  • Medical expenses. Including immediate medical treatments and any long-term care needed due to injuries sustained in the accident.
  • Lost wages. Compensation for any lost earnings due to time off work for recovery.
  • Pain and suffering. For the physical and emotional distress caused by the accident.
  • Property damage. To repair or replace vehicle damage resulting from the debris.

If a government entity is found liable, the process of claiming compensation might differ due to specific procedural requirements under government claim statutes. It’s crucial to act promptly and consult with a car accident lawyer in Kentucky who can help navigate these complex claims. A Lexington accident attorney can investigate the incident, handle all negotiations with the other parties involved, and keep you informed as your case proceeds forward.