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Accidents Caused by Objects Falling from Vehicles

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Objects falling from all types of vehicles like cars, SUVs, or commercial trucks create serious hazards on the roads and can cause major property damage, severe injuries, and even death. Unfortunately, debris falling from vehicles is all too common on our roadways. According to the AAA, more than 200,000 car accidents involving debris took place between 2011 and 2014. The accidents caused 39,000 injuries and more than 500 fatalities.

Debris can fall from commercial vehicles like tractor-trailers, garbage trucks, dump trucks, and moving trucks. However, commercial vehicles aren’t the only vehicles that can be dangerous. Small objects flying from regular passenger vehicles have caused many accidents over the years.

If you or your loved one were involved in a car accident due to objects falling from another vehicle, the Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyers can help secure fair compensation for your injuries. We offer free initial consultations where you will speak with a veteran car accident lawyer who will offer sound advice and discuss all your legal options.

What Are Common Types of Falling Objects from Vehicles?

vehicle rollover accidentThe trucking industry is heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA places strict rules on commercial vehicles about how to properly secure cargo. However, the rules are not always followed by trucking companies. Many truck accidents are caused by unsecured cargo shifting within the truck, either causing the truck to roll over or causing the cargo to fall out of the truck.

While commercial vehicles have guidelines on how to secure cargo, there are no specific regulations for packing regular passenger vehicles or rented moving vans. We have all seen a car or truck with a mattress tied to the top of the vehicle. Since most people are not trained in cargo securement, the goods they are carrying from one place to another are at higher risk of becoming debris, falling off the vehicle, and hitting other cars on the road.

Debris can be defined as any material that is foreign to the roadway and hazardous to other drivers while they are traveling. Since debris is not meant to be on the roads, the sudden appearance of the objects causes drivers to swerve, overcorrect, and cause major collisions.
Debris from cars or trucks can include:

Cargo Securement Laws

The FMCSA’s cargo securement laws were changed in 2004 to increase the safety of vehicles carrying various goods on roads and highways. The number of tie-downs commercial vehicles must use drastically increased with the new laws.

On top of the FMCSA regulations, individual states also impose strict laws on vehicles carrying loads. Virginia’s Department of Transportation states that any vehicle carrying cargo must have adequate log chains, metal cables, nylon webbing, steel straps, or other restraining devices to prevent cargo from shifting or falling out of the vehicle.

Since these rules and regulations have been clearly stated, any driver that does not adhere to the laws is negligent. The Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyers firmly believe you should not foot the bill for someone else’s irresponsibility.

Call today for a free consultation with a seasoned car accident lawyer who will make sure the negligent parties are held accountable for their actions.

Who Is Liable for Falling Debris Accidents?

Accidents caused by objects falling from vehicles can involve multiple parties and get very complicated very quickly. This is why it is essential to have an expert legal advocate on your side throughout the claims process. Our car accident attorneys will be able to investigate the scene of the accident and determine the party or parties at fault. After the determination is made, we will pursue the maximum amount of damages possible. The party or parties who may be liable for the accident caused by falling objects are:

The car or truck driver

If the driver of the car or commercial vehicle was negligent in any way (driving distracted, driving while fatigued, driving under the influence, speeding, or otherwise recklessly driving), our car accident lawyers will pursue damages against the driver. If the driver packed his or her own cargo (i.e. a person who packed personal items, such as furniture or mattresses) and did not properly secure them, the Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyers would pursue damages against that driver.

Trucking company

It is up to the truck company to make sure their vehicles are properly maintained and regularly inspected. They also have a responsibility to thoroughly train their drivers to make sure they can handle the weight of the truck while carrying cargo. If objects fell from one of their trucks because of unsecured cargo, or an under-trained employee who did not know how to maneuver the truck, our car accident attorneys will file a claim against the trucking company

Cargo loaders

Trucking companies sometimes hire cargo loaders to help secure the objects in the tractor-trailer. Unfortunately, there are times when the loaders skip steps or do not comply with federal regulations. Because of this negligence, unsecured cargo in commercial vehicles can cause the truck to roll over and objects to fall from the trailer.

The Regan Zambri Long car accident attorneys have a deep understanding of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC laws. They are also familiar with the DC Metro court systems, as well as various insurance policies. A seasoned car accident attorney will help you identify the negligent parties and secure the compensation you deserve.

How Can I Protect Myself from Falling Debris?

Not every accident can be prevented, but there are plenty of steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe while on the road.

One of the main sources of falling debris causing harm on the roadway is improperly maintained vehicles. Underinflated, overinflated, or worn tires can blow out, causing tire debris on the road or causing material from the car to fall out. If hardware from the vehicle is rusted, it may fall off while driving at high speeds. Dragging mufflers and other loose parts of the vehicle are hazardous to others on the road. If you are a driver, the safest thing you can do for your loved ones and the drivers around you is to have your vehicle regularly inspected and properly maintained.

Truck, car, highwayTo protect yourself from other drivers whose negligence may cause objects falling from their vehicles, the best thing you can do on the road is create distance between your car and other drivers, especially when sharing the highway with commercial vehicles. If you are sharing the road with a tow truck or a tractor-trailer that is carrying a potentially dangerous load, you should use extreme caution.

Keep your eyes focused on the road at all times and leave plenty of space between your car and the truck. It is recommended that you should leave at least four seconds between your vehicle and a commercial vehicle at all times. This time should be doubled if you are driving in bad weather. That way, if debris flies off, you will give yourself plenty of time to react quickly and safely, avoiding getting into a collision with another vehicle while steering clear of the falling debris.

A Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyer can help

Car accidents are traumatizing and financially distressing. Victims must cope with physical injuries, emotional anguish, and property damage. You do not have to go on the journey alone.

The Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyers make themselves available to their clients day and night. We diligently work to secure a favorable settlement or verdict for your claim quickly so you can start rebuilding your life as soon as possible.

Call today for your free initial consultation and let us handle the claims process so you can focus on your recovery.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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