Road debris is a common hazard for drivers in Arizona. From tire treads to fallen cargo, debris on the road can lead to dangerous accidents. When an accident is caused by road debris, determining who is responsible can be complicated. This article examines how fault is established in Arizona road debris accident cases.
What Counts As Road Debris?
Road debris refers to any object on the roadway that does not belong there. Common examples include:
- Tire treads that have detached from a tire
- Metal parts that have fallen off vehicles
- Lumber, rocks, and other spilled cargo
- Crash debris from previous accidents
- Dead animals on the road
Essentially, if the object did not originate on the road itself, it can be considered road debris.
Liability Depends on the Source of the Debris
In Arizona, liability for road debris accidents depends on where the debris came from. There are a few potential sources:
Debris from Unidentified Vehicles
If the source of the debris cannot be identified, the accident victim would likely need to file through their own auto insurance policy. The at-fault driver cannot be pursued in these cases.
Debris from Identified Commercial Vehicles
Trucking companies and other commercial vehicle operators have a legal duty to secure cargo loads. If loose cargo causes an accident, the trucking company is usually liable.
Debris from Private Passenger Vehicles
If the debris came from another private vehicle, that driver can potentially be held liable. However, identifying the at-fault driver can be difficult.
Debris from Roadwork Sites
Road construction crews have a duty to keep work zones safe and clean. If accidents are caused by debris they left behind, the construction company may share in liability.
Gathering Evidence Is Critical
The key to determining fault in road debris cases is evidence. Police reports, eyewitness accounts, and photographic evidence can all help trace debris back to its source. Documentation is necessary to overcome the legal burdens of proof.
Consulting an attorney early in the process can also help accident victims maximize evidence collection. An attorney understands what evidence will be most valuable in building a legal claim against the responsible parties. Quick action is essential – debris gets cleared away, and witnesses’ memories fade over time.
Options for Compensation
In road debris accident cases, compensation for damages may be available from several sources, depending on where fault is placed. These include:
- The at-fault driver’s liability coverage
- A trucking or construction company’s insurance
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Personal injury protection coverage
By consulting a personal injury attorney from Monge and Associates, victims can determine their options and build the strongest possible case for full compensation.
Road debris accidents can leave victims facing serious injuries and vehicle damage. But determining who is at fault is not always straightforward. With prompt evidence gathering and effective legal representation, injured parties can establish liability when third-party road hazards cause accidents in Arizona.
Monge and Associates has offices in 32 locations across 19 states, including Arizona, Iowa, and Ohio. Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597 if you have been involved in an accident caused by road debris.