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Road Debris AccidentPicture driving down the road, and suddenly you notice a large hazard in the road. You try to avoid it, but you are not able to. As a result, your car crashes, and you are injured. Who is responsible for your injuries, the injuries of your passengers, and the damage to your car? The answer varies by state. In California, the car owner who created the road debris is responsible.

What Types Of Road Debris May Present A Hazard To Drivers In California?

Dangerous road debris takes many forms, most of which can cause accidents, serious injury, or even death. Couches, chairs, desks, tables, bedframes, bookcases, appliances, cabinets, armoires, mattresses, and other furniture may not have been properly secured in the bed of a pickup truck and could fall out into the road. Glass, wood, sheet metal, rocks, ladders, work equipment, lights, garbage, and machinery may come loose from a construction vehicle. It is not uncommon for big rigs to lose large amounts of tire tread while cruising down the freeway. Trees, shrubs, pet crates, suitcases, motorcycles, ATVs, spare tires—many useful or harmless items can become deadly if they are unexpectedly found in the middle of the road.

Sometimes road construction can result in dangerous obstacles—stray traffic cones, piles of rocks, misplaced signs or barriers, and oil slicks are all hazards that may be created by construction work.

What Type Of Damage May Be Caused By Road Debris In California?

There are two categories of damage—damage to the car and injuries that the driver or passengers sustained. The damage to each category may be mild or severe, depending on the situation.

Damage to the car may involve damage to the bumper and the car’s undercarriage when it runs over the debris. Additionally, the tires and wheels may be damaged and need to be repaired or replaced. In other cases, debris can be airborne after falling out of a moving vehicle, damaging the car’s hood, windshield, roof, or rear. The side windows and doors may also be damaged by flying debris. In some cases, striking the debris may result in the driver losing control of the car and getting into an accident that totals the car.

Injuries to the people in the car may also occur. Any flying debris may travel at speeds high enough to break the windshield or windows and seriously harm the vehicle’s inhabitants. Horrifying scenarios where flying debris impales a driver or passenger is rare but not impossible. If the debris severely damages the car or substantially distracts the driver, a serious crash may occur, harming the vehicle’s occupants.

What Should I Do If I Am Injured By Road Debris?

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having been injured by road debris in California, the first thing to do is safely pull over to the side of the road. Next, determine if you need immediate medical care. Call an ambulance or proceed to an emergency room if necessary. After injuries are stabilized, make sure you file an accident report citing the exact location of the impact. If you saw the source of the debris, make sure you record as much information about the vehicle as possible—make, model, and color of the car, license plate number, etc. Take photos of the location, the debris, and your car. Finally, contact an attorney from the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC. To learn more or schedule your initial case consultation, call 888-848-5084 or visit our website today.   

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