What happens when road debris causes an auto accident? Can individuals file auto accident insurance claims in such instances? Shredded tires, furniture, trash, automobile parts, and broken branches are common and dangerous forms of road debris. Automobile accidents often occur when motorists swerve to avoid these obstacles.
The Causes and Dangers of Road Debris
Improper vehicle maintenance and unsecured loads cause an estimated 66% of debris-related crashes. Other causes include weather and construction activities. The risk of accident is greatest on interstate highways where higher speeds give drivers less time to react to the obstacle and avoid an impact.
At higher speeds, there is a significant risk of overcorrecting and losing control over the vehicle. This can cause the vehicle to leave the roadway or impact nearby traffic. It can cause the vehicle to strike barriers, overpasses, etc. Often, it is safer to strike the object rather than overcorrect.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that 37% of US traffic fatalities occur when drivers swerve to avoid debris in the roadway. From 2011 through 2014, debris in the road was a factor in 200,000 accidents reported to police. From 2012 to 2016, AAA's study showed that debris in in the roadway caused more than 50,000 accidents per year. These accidents resulted in more than 9,800 personal injuries and 125 fatalities.
Road Hazards and Insurance
Automobile insurance policies often cover damages caused by road debris. However, how the accident occurred determines whether it falls under collision or comprehensive coverage. An auto accident is covered under collision coverage when a motorist strikes a tree limb, box, piece of furniture in the roadway, etc.
Filing a collision claim also means paying the deductible. For claims less than the deductible amount, the policyholder has to pay the expenses out-of-pocket.
Establishing negligence requires proving who was responsible for depositing the debris in the roadway. This can be an individual, company, or government entity responsible for clearing the roadway of debris. In instances where the motorist records the responsible party depositing the debris on a dashcam, this recording can establish liability.
Brad Pistotnik Law is an attorney, lawyer, and abogado who represent clients in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois. Brad Pistotnik represents accident insurance claims for automobile accidents, and the survivors of those who suffer a wrongful death. Whether the accident occurred in Wichita, Liberal, Garden City, Lyons, Hutchinson, Newton, Hesston, Abilene, Lincoln, Lucas, Salina, El Dorado, Pratt, Kingman, Andover, Derby, Ness City, WaKeeney, Ellis, Hays, Jetmore, Dodge City, Bucklin, Omaha, Greensburg, Junction City, Quinter, Nevada, Rich Hill, Fort Scott, Neosho, Monett, Republic Nia, Bolivar, Eureka, Vinita, Bartlesville, Ponca City, Arkansas City, White City, Alta Vista, Alma, Chapman, Marion, Lebo, Solomon, Gypsum, Harveyville, Burlingame, Carbondale, Osage City, Lyndon, Soldier, America City, Wheaton, Olsburg, Leonardville, Riley, Clay Center, Idana, Clifton, Oak Hill, Meriden, Valley Falls or elsewhere in these states, our team works to ensure accident insurance claims cover the expenses stemming from the accident.
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