Lafayette Car Crashes Caused by Road Debris: What Crash Victims Should Know

Tires on the side of the road.Road debris can make any trip much more dangerous, possibly causing a serious collision that results in severe injuries. Sometimes drivers can avoid the debris, but sometimes they crash into it or they get into an accident while attempting to evade the obstacle.

Below, Galloway Jefcoat explores the dangers of road debris, the complexities of liability in these cases and how victims may be able to seek compensation.

If you were injured in a crash caused by road debris, contact our experienced Lafayette auto accident lawyers. Our team has successfully recovered millions for clients who have been injured in motor vehicle collisions on Louisiana roadways. We charge no upfront fees, and there is no obligation or fee to speak with an experienced attorney from our law firm.

Call today to learn if you may have a case: 337-984-8020.

Types of Road Debris You Might Encounter

Drivers in Louisiana may encounter a wide range of debris on the roads:

  • Large chunks of commercial truck tires
  • Furniture
  • Home appliances that fell off other vehicles
  • Construction materials (cones, signs, tools, nails, screws, metal fragments, etc.)
  • Packages from delivery trucks
  • Vehicle parts, like mufflers, hubcaps, bumpers or even spare tires
  • Garbage
  • Tree branches
  • Broken glass
  • Roadkill
  • Garbage bags
  • Household items
  • And more

Sometimes road debris fall off another vehicle, such as furniture, parts of vehicles or chunks of rubber from a commercial truck tire. Bad weather could send a tree branch onto the road. Animals could run onto the road and get run over by a car. Construction workers could be careless and leave tools, cones or debris on the road.

How Road Debris Could Contribute to a Collision

There are a few ways road debris could cause a collision. Often, drivers are so surprised by debris that they make a dangerous maneuver to avoid it and end up colliding with another vehicle. They may also go off the road and hit a fixed object, like a tree or road sign.

Unfortunately, sometimes drivers are unable to avoid hitting debris. They crash into an object, and this could cause them to crash into other nearby vehicles.

Sometimes, debris turns into projectiles, such as lumber, construction tools or machinery. These projectiles could go right into your radiator or through your windshield, possibly causing a penetrating injury.

A collision with road debris could cause your car to suddenly slow down, possibly resulting in a rear-end collision with a trailing driver.

Crashes involving tree branches or other environmental hazards may be more likely in bad weather, such as severe rain. This could obstruct visibility.

What You Should Know About Liability for Damages

Louisiana follows an at-fault system, where the party responsible for causing the accident is also responsible for the damages. However, identifying the liable party in road debris accidents might be challenging.

If it can be determined that the debris came from a specific vehicle, the owner or operator of that vehicle may be held liable. However, ​​if you suddenly hit a metal rod on the highway, it could be difficult to determine where the debris came from, especially if no nearby vehicles are visibly carrying similar items, or if there is no clear evidence of a recent vehicle accident or cargo spill.

You might be able to hold a construction company liable if you can link the debris to road construction. However, this can be a difficult task, which is why you need help from an experienced attorney.

If the debris was due to poor maintenance of a public road, the government entity responsible for maintaining the road might be liable. However, while holding the government accountable for debris-related accidents is possible, these types of cases have unique requirements and deadlines.

There are other situations where liability is easier to determine, such as if you got hit by a driver who was avoiding road debris. The driver may be liable because he or she could have avoided hitting the debris. For example, he or she may have been distracted or speeding.

Louisiana’s comparative fault law adds another layer of complexity to debris-related accidents, as victims might be partially at fault. For example, maybe you were following the other vehicle too closely, which contributed to the accident. Under the law, your compensation would be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Seeking Compensation for a Road Debris Crash

If you find yourself in an accident caused by road debris, there are several steps you can take to help protect your legal rights:

  • Document the Scene: Take photographs of the debris, the damage to your vehicle and any relevant road conditions or signs. However, you should only do this if it is safe, and you will not risk making your injuries worse.
  • File a Police Report: This official record can be crucial in establishing the facts of the accident.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Prioritize your health and document any injuries related to the accident. Do not delay going to a doctor, even if you do not feel hurt. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to prove that your accident caused your injuries.
  • Consult an Attorney: An experienced lawyer who has handled various motor vehicle crash cases can help navigate the complexities of your claim and deal with insurance companies.

Injured by Road Debris in Lafayette? Let Galloway Jefcoat Help

If you have been injured in a Lafayette crash caused by road debris, please contact us for a free consultation. Our team has a proven track record of success with decades of experience helping car crash victims recover compensation.

We want to help you determine your legal options, so that you may be able to obtain the compensation you deserve. Our firm does not get paid unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

Learn more about your legal options today: 337-984-8020.