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What to Do About Car Damage from Road Debris

Updated February 23, 2023 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

What to Do About Car Damage from Road Debris

When traveling on interstate highways or local city streets, unexpected debris on the road can be a huge threat to a driver’s safety. Road debris can include any substances, materials, or objects which are not normal to the roadway environment. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident as a result of road debris, you may be eligible for compensation. The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Wilson Kehoe Winingham are available to help you with your road debris accident case.

What is Road Debris?

Road debris may appear in the form of any of the following, but are not limited to:

  • Rocks or boulders
  • Car parts such as tires or tread
  • Animal corpses
  • Litter or food waste
  • Furniture
  • Broken glass

What to Do Following a Debris Crash

If you hit or have been hit by debris on the road, stay calm. Debris can be very dangerous depending on the circumstances of the accident. Following an accident caused by road debris you should:

  • Check yourself and other passengers for injuries.
  • Call the police. Dispatching the police to the scene of the accident is a necessary first step. This is important in the event that one or more people have been injured in the crash. Anyone who is injured should seek medical treatment right away.
  • Document the accident if you’re able. This is an important part of your case. Collect information from additional witnesses as well as photographic evidence of the accident scene.
  • Contact the personal injury attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham. 

Types of Road Debris

Accidents as a result of road debris are more likely to occur on interstate highways, but are still possible on local, city streets where speed limits are lower.

Flying Debris

Flying debris includes rocks or any objects flying off the vehicles in front of or beside you that could impact your vehicle. Flying debris can be a result of many things such as storms, high winds, or negligent driving. In many instances, the insurance company would consider the vehicle responsible for losing items (flying debris) as the liable party for the accident.

Avoidable Debris

Avoidable debris is anything laying on the road that is considered to be avoidable. This can include furniture, detached trailers, construction cones, or pylons. In many instances, the insurance company will consider the driver at fault if the debris causing the accident can be categorized as avoidable.

Insurance Claims

When filing an insurance claim for an accident caused by debris, you should be aware where responsibility lies depending on circumstances of the accident. It is important to allow your attorney to negotiate a claim with insurance companies as responsibility for the accident is being determined. Giving too much information or any statement to the insurance company yourself can work against you in the event of filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Who is Liable?

When assessing an accident caused by road debris, the important factor is whether or not the debris was avoidable. If you’re the driver, you may have to prove the debris or object came from a specific vehicle in order to avoid liability for the damage. To determine liability, it is recommended you reach out to the personal injury attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham for a case evaluation, specific to your accident. 

Tips to Avoid Road Debris

Although some road debris may not be avoidable, there are steps you can take to minimize your chances of being impacted by it.

  1. Avoid driving too closely to the vehicle in front of you. By allowing enough space in between you and the car ahead of you, you allow more time to see potential objects in the road.
  2. Keep your eyes on the road ahead at all times and stay aware of your surroundings.
  3. Reduce your speed as necessary for conditions and limits. If you see debris, safely reduce your speed prior to making contact.
  4. Do not swerve. Swerving to dodge debris can result in an even more dangerous accident. Only swerve to miss an object if you can do so safely with enough time. 

Debris from Truck Tire Blowouts

Truck tire blowouts are a common cause of flying road debris resulting in accidents. Truck drivers and trucking companies are ultimately responsible for frequently checking the condition of tires. This includes routine checks on inflation level, tread depth, tread quality, and mileage on each tire.

Contact Wilson Kehoe Winingham Today

The attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham have extensive experience in auto accidents including those as a result of road debris. If you have experienced damage to your vehicle due to road debris, contact WKW today. Our legal team will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.


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