The highways and roadways of North Carolina are often filled with commercial trucks transporting goods across the state and beyond. While these vehicles are vital for our economy, they can pose risks to other drivers on the road. One potential danger comes from truck tire debris, which can cause accidents, injuries, and damage to vehicles. If you’ve been injured by truck tire debris, you may wonder if you can seek compensation for your losses. In this article, we’ll explore the legal aspects of this type of truck accident case and how the Kellum Law Firm can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
The Dangers of Truck Tire Debris
Truck tire debris, commonly known as “road gators,” refers to tire fragments that break off commercial trucks, often due to wear and tear, overloading, or poor maintenance. These large and heavy debris pieces can become hazardous projectiles on the road, leading to a range of potential dangers:
- Accidents: Debris on the road can cause accidents, especially when drivers swerve or collide with it.
- Injuries: Injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises to severe injuries, depending on the impact.
- Vehicle Damage: Truck tire debris can lead to extensive damage to vehicles, including shattered windshields and body damage.
- Traffic Congestion: Debris can obstruct lanes and create traffic congestion.
Seeking Compensation for Injuries Caused by Truck Tire Debris
If you’ve been injured by truck tire debris, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. However, pursuing a claim can be complex, and it’s essential to understand your rights and options:
- Determining Liability: Identifying the party responsible for the tire debris is the first step. It may be the trucking company, the truck driver, or even the tire manufacturer if a defect is involved. Where the truck is present at the scene, it can be less of a challenge to establish liability, however, if the truck has left the scene, proving who caused your accident can be very difficult.
- Proving Negligence: To seek compensation, you must establish that negligence led to the tire debris incident. Negligence could involve improper maintenance, overloading, or a failure to secure the cargo.
- Evidence Gathering: Collecting evidence is crucial. This may include photographs of the scene, witness statements, and expert analysis of the debris and the truck’s maintenance records.
- Insurance Claims: You can file a claim with your own insurance company, but this may not cover all your losses. If another party is liable, their insurance should compensate you.
- Legal Action: If negotiations with the at-fault party or their insurer fail to secure fair compensation, legal action may be necessary. This could lead to a lawsuit seeking damages for medical expenses, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you’ve been injured by truck tire debris, but don’t know which specific truck was responsible, it can be more challenging to seek compensation. However, it’s not impossible. Generally speaking only accidents with serious outcomes might warrant the effort needed to track down the offending vehicle driver and pursue a claim for compensation, but here are some steps you can take to improve your chances of obtaining a successful outcome:
- Collect Evidence: Even if you couldn’t identify the specific truck, it’s crucial to collect as much evidence as possible. This includes photographs of the debris and the accident scene, any witness statements, and any information about the location and time of the incident.
- Contact Law Enforcement: Report the incident to the local law enforcement agency. They may conduct an investigation and create an official report, which can be useful when filing an insurance claim or legal action. It’s also possible they may have an actual record of the incident that occurred when the truck shed tire debris, hence it’s possible they may have a record of the actual truck and driver.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: Contact your own insurance company to report the incident and any injuries. Depending on your insurance coverage, you may be able to make a claim for medical expenses, vehicle damage, or personal injury protection.
- Consult an Attorney: If you believe the tire debris incident resulted from negligence or improper maintenance on the part of a trucking company or driver, consult with a truck accident attorney experienced in North Carolina-based trucking accidents. They can help you assess your case, identify potentially liable parties, and explore legal options.
- Identify Witnesses: Reach out to any witnesses who may have observed the incident. Their statements can provide valuable information and support your case.
- Explore Surveillance Footage: In some cases, surveillance cameras on nearby buildings or businesses may have captured the incident. Your attorney can help obtain such footage.
- Explore All Possible Avenues: Sometimes, third parties, such as the tire manufacturer or maintenance companies, may be held responsible for the incident. Your attorney can explore all potential avenues for compensation.
If you’ve been injured directly as a consequence of colliding with truck tire debris don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are committed to helping you navigate the legal process, recover your losses, and get back on the road to recovery. As always, we provide a no-cost and no-obligation initial consultation to go over the details of your case – schedule your case review here.