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Philadelphia, PA: Johnny Cochran Lawyer

Roadway Debris Accident Lawyers

If you’ve been in a car accident because there was an obstacle in the road, you may need the assistance of roadway debris accident lawyers to pursue compensation.

Obstructions don’t end up lying on roads of their own accord; they are typically there because of the negligence of one party or another. When someone’s negligence causes you physical injuries, property damage, or another type of loss, they may be legally obliged to compensate you financially.

However, to pursue compensation after a roadway debris accident in Philadelphia, you’ll need to hire an attorney with expertise in this area.

How Our Roadway Debris Accident Lawyers Can Help You

Roadway debris accidents are relatively common in Philadelphia. From construction equipment left on the highway to unsecured cargo falling off trucks, there are various types of obstructions that can lead to severe accidents. The risk of serious harm is particularly high on freeways or other roads on which vehicles travel at high speeds.

There are several ways in which a roadway debris accident attorney can assist you following a collision. When clients visit our firm for a free initial consultation, we analyze the facts at hand to quickly determine how best to pursue the compensation you need to get your life back on track. If we think pursuing legal action is worthwhile for you, and you’re happy to proceed with it, we can get to work on your case right away.

In car accident cases involving roadway debris, a key concern is identifying the at-fault party. It may not be immediately obvious who should face liability in cases like these, unless there are eyewitnesses who saw the incident that caused the obstruction or some other form of evidence is available.

To succeed in a roadway debris accident case, or any other type of personal injury lawsuit, you must generally prove negligence on the part of the defendant. This means showing that the defendant in your case owed you a duty of care, that they breached this duty in some way, and that this breach directly caused you some kind of financially compensable harm.

Proving negligence in these cases typically requires various types of evidence, including photos of the debris that caused the accident, witness testimonies, traffic camera footage, and expert opinions. Our roadway debris accident lawyers know what kinds of evidence to prioritize and how to collect and present the necessary material. Though it’s technically possible to do this by yourself, you’ll stand a much better chance of getting everything right if you hire an attorney with a strong background in road accident cases.

Filing a lawsuit doesn’t mean you have to go to court; in fact, we manage to negotiate settlements privately in the majority of cases. However, this can prove difficult, particularly when we’re up against insurance companies. These massive corporations employ teams of high-powered lawyers to limit their liability on claims, often by exploiting whatever legal and policy-related loopholes they can find. If it’s not possible to come up with an acceptable agreement via bilateral negotiation, we won’t hesitate to take the fight in front of a judge and jury.

Different Types of Roadway Debris Accidents

There are various types of roadway obstructions that can cause accidents. It’s important to understand the differences between the different types of debris and the accidents they cause, as these factors have a bearing on the investigation into accidents and the types of parties who may be named as defendants in your case.

Unsecured Cargo Accidents

These accidents occur when road users fail to properly secure loads on their commercial or personal vehicles and items fall onto the road as a result. We’ve dealt with cases in which clients collided with furniture, construction equipment, logs, and other such types of vehicle cargo. Accidents of this type can be particularly dangerous given the unpredictability of moving vehicles and the sudden appearance of obstacles.

Construction Debris Accidents

Construction projects can result in debris ending up on nearby roadways. Whether they occur due to negligent cleanup or accidental spillage, these obstructions can be hazardous to motorists.

Natural Debris Accidents

Natural debris, such as fallen trees, branches, or rocks, can cause major obstruction on roadways, especially after extreme weather. Public authorities have a responsibility to deal with these kinds of obstructions within a reasonable time frame. Additionally, if private property owners have trees or other such fixtures on their property, they may be responsible for ensuring that they do not cause debris to end up on any nearby roadways; if they fail to uphold this responsibility, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against them.

Accident Remnants

After a traffic collision, wreckage or vehicle parts might remain on the road, leading to secondary accidents. These remnants can include glass, metal, and other car parts. If negligent driving on the part of another road user was the reason for the primary crash, it may be possible to file suit against that person to recover damages for your secondary accident.

Animal Carcass Accidents

According to the Scientific American, around 350 million vertebrate animals lose their lives on American roads every year. Unfortunately, when animals (particularly larger creatures, such as deer) die on the road, their remains become a major hazard for drivers.

If a public authority fails to deal with roadkill within a reasonable time, and the carcass causes a road accident, it may be possible to sue the agency in question. Additionally, if an animal carcass ends up on the road because another road user (such as a hunter) failed to properly secure it to their vehicle, that party may face liability.

Does Motor Insurance Cover Roadway Debris Accidents?

Every driver in Pennsylvania must carry motor insurance to take to the roads legally. However, policies have various levels of coverage when it comes to roadway debris accidents.

If you have comprehensive coverage, you’ll likely be entitled to claim compensation for property damage, medical expenses, and other costs that arise following a roadway debris accident. Additionally, if you have uninsured motorist coverage and you get in a debris-related accident that was the fault of an unidentified driver, you may be entitled to compensation under this coverage.

However, if your insurance policy does not cover these outcomes, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover damages following a roadway debris accident.

It’s worth noting that your insurance company may refuse to pay out on your claim, even if it seems straightforwardly valid. If this happens to you, don’t panic; our roadway debris accident lawyers deal with cases like these all the time.

Swerving and Braking Accidents Caused by Debris

If you need to swerve to avoid an obstacle in the road and crash into another vehicle as a result, who’ll be liable? It may surprise you to learn that, in many cases, it will be you.

In Pennsylvania, as in other states, road users are expected to drive defensively; that is, to pay attention to the road and respond to any unexpected issues in good time. So, if you fail to do this and get into an accident as a result, you may be liable.

However, if the roadway obstruction came about because of the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to damages from that party. Also, if you have an insurance policy that covers obstruction-related accidents, your compensation may cover any costs your accident incurs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What compensation can I expect from a roadway debris accident?

Compensation can cover medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages. The exact amount will depend on the specifics of the accident.

How long do I have to file a claim after the accident?

In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is generally two years from the date of the accident. However, there may be exceptions, so it’s essential to consult with a lawyer promptly after you’ve been involved in a crash.

Can the City of Philadelphia be held liable for a roadway debris accident?

In some cases, it may be possible to hold a public authority responsible for a roadway debris accident, such as if the obstruction ended up on the road due to negligent maintenance work by city workers. However, suing government bodies poses a distinct set of challenges and may be more difficult than filing a lawsuit against a private organization or individual. To figure out what the best course of action is likely to be in your case, you’ll have to speak with an attorney.

What if I’m partially at fault for the accident?

Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence rule. If you were less than 50% at fault for your accident, you will still be able to recover damages, but they will be reduced in line with your degree of fault.

Are commercial vehicles held to stricter standards when it comes to securing cargo in Philadelphia?

Yes, commercial vehicles are subject to both state and federal regulations about securing cargo. However, drivers of personal vehicles are also legally required to ensure that any cargo on their vehicles is properly secured so that it does not pose a risk to the safety of other road users.

Making a Financial Recovery After a Philadelphia Roadway Debris Accident

The aftermath of a road accident is never easy. However, if you’ve had a car accident caused by roadway debris, and the obstruction was there because of someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to bear the associated financial burdens. Whether through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, it’s imperative that you seek assistance to make the situation right.

Contact The Cochran Firm in Philadelphia today to start the process. We offer free initial consultations to every potential client, so there’s no risk for you if you want to visit us and explain your situation. You can reach us via our online webform, or over the phone at 800-969-4400.