What You Should Do If A Flying Object Causes You Problems On The Road

Posted on: 10 March 2015

You've seen them before -- those cars and trucks loaded haphazardly with mattresses, shovels, kayaks or furniture. And then there are those commercial trucks hauling logs or other large items that you know could crush you if they weren't loaded properly. If you're like most people, you probably try to avoid driving directly behind those vehicles. But what should you do if you have no other choice and then -- horror of horrors -- something comes loose from one of those vehicle and strikes your car or causes you to get in an accident?  Should you, for instance, hire a lawyer? And is there anything you can do to recover for your damages?

What You Should Do

If an item flies off a vehicle and is heading towards your automobile, you should:

  • Avoid slamming on the brakes. This may be your first instinct, but according to the Los Angeles Times, it may not be the best course of action as the person behind you could end up running into the back of you. 
  • Change lanes but only if you can do so safely. Remember, however, that swerving sharply, especially if you are traveling at a high rate of speed, could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or to fishtail. 
  • Drive over the item if it is small and you have no other choice. But remember even seemingly innocent items can wreak havoc on a car's underside.  

What to Do If the Object Causes You Damage or to Get Into an Accident 

If you're lucky, you may escape the incident without any damages, but if you should get into an accident or your car is damaged, find a safe place to pull over as soon as possible. Hopefully, the vehicle that lost the item may be long gone and may not even realize that they dropped anything. At this point, you should:

  • Call the police to report the accident or incident. Try to give them as much information about the car that lost the item as you can remember. It's possible they may be able to track down the vehicle, which will definitely help you out if you end up filing a lawsuit later on. 
  • Get the name and contact information of witnesses. If you're fortunate, a Good Samaritan may have been able to get the license plate of the offending vehicle. 
  • Exchange information with any other drivers that were involved in the incident. At the very least, you will need their driver's license, insurance and contact information
  • Call your insurance company immediately to report the accident. Hopefully, your insurance will cover the damages even if you can't find the offending vehicle. But if not, you may have to hire an accident attorney to help you recover for your losses. 
  • Seek medical attention immediately. Even if you don't feel pain right after an accident, you could have injuries. Adrenaline after an accident rushes through your body and can mask any pain you may actually be experiencing. 

Hire an Attorney

The driver of the vehicle that lost the item should be liable for your accident or for your damages if you can prove that they were negligent. That driver had a duty to properly load and secure all of the items in or on his vehicle. Unfortunately, that driver will probably have insurance company lawyers who will be working hard to prove that their client was not negligent and, thus, not at fault for your accident. That is why it is important to go to sites and hire an experienced lawyer to fight on your behalf. This is especially important if you don't have collision or comprehensive insurance to cover the damage done to your own vehicle or if you have suffered great bodily injury.