Who is Liable if an Object Falls off a Passing Vehicle and Hits My Car?

overloaded dump truckMost drivers have occasionally passed an overloaded pickup truck, dump truck or other smaller vehicle carrying an improperly secured load. What can you do if something falls off a passing vehicle, hits your car and causes you to crash?

Greg Coleman Law talks about who may be responsible for the damages in this tricky type of car accident.

If another driver causes you to get hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you may benefit from having a knowledgeable and experienced attorney represent you. Insurance companies will do all they can to avoid paying out on a claim – or to pay far less than the value of your claim. Find out if you have a case and how our Knoxville traffic accident lawyers may be able to help. Your initial consultation is completely free.

Millions Recovered. Ph: (865) 247-0080

Why Did the Cargo Fall Off the Other Vehicle?

Commercial trucks transport all kinds of cargo, while smaller, residential vehicles may carry furniture, appliances and other household items. Regardless of what is being transported, all vehicle loads must be properly secured to avoid any objects from falling and hitting the road or another vehicle.

There are two main reasons another vehicle’s cargo could fall onto the road or onto another vehicle:

Negligence of the Driver and/or Party Who Secured the Load

Drivers owe a duty of care to prevent harm to others on the road. This duty includes taking appropriate measures to secure cargo - especially when using a smaller vehicle or open pickup truck. Objects loaded onto these vehicles may easily and quickly become a serious danger to other drivers if not properly secured. Commercial truck drivers and the companies they work have an even greater responsibility for properly securing cargo. 

Examples of negligence that can cause cargo or objects to come loose and strike another vehicle:

  • Cargo on a vehicle or commercial truck improperly secured by the loading company 
  • Vehicle swerving and causing cargo or objects to fall off due to a driver speeding, or driving drowsy or impaired
  • An improperly hitched trailer that disconnects and strikes one or more vehicles

A Malfunctioning or Defective Part Was Used to Secure the Cargo

Cargo may have been secured properly initially, but worn or defective parts that later malfunctioned caused the cargo to come loose.

Who May Be Responsible for Your Damages?

Damages from this type of car crash are likely to be significant. Even if the object was smaller, when two vehicles are traveling even at the posted speed limit, the damages can be quite severe.

There could be more than one party liable for the damages, including:

  • The driver who did not properly secure the load onto his or her private vehicle
  • Commercial drivers if the object(s) came loose because of driving recklessly or while impaired or distracted
  • Those responsible for improperly loading cargo onto the commercial vehicle
  • Trucking company if the at-fault party was a commercial driver was inexperienced, poorly trained or who had a known history of driving violations

These cases are tough to take on, especially if there was no camera footage or eyewitnesses, or if the at-fault individual does not stop. However, a qualified attorney knows how to investigate the incident, gather strong evidence and use resources, such as accident reconstructionists, to help build a solid case on your behalf.

What is Tennessee’s Secure Load Law?

This state law, formerly known as the “Tarp Law” requires drivers and owners of any vehicle to ensure carried loads are secure, preventing debris or objects from falling or blowing into the road.

To accomplish securing the load, drivers may need to:

  • Utilize heavy-duty vehicle straps or rope to secure the load
  • Take care not to overload the vehicle or exceed allowable weights
  • Remain alert about cargo and stop regularly to inspect it

Unfortunately, if involved in a collision because an object or debris struck your car and caused a collision, you must still be able to prove the incident was caused by the other party’s negligence. This is a good reason to hire an attorney familiar with handling complicated car crash cases. An experienced car accident lawyer may be able to help prove negligence, by establishing:

  • An individual or company owed a duty of care to others to properly secure cargo and protect others from harm
  • The at-fault driver or company breached that duty of care by failing to properly secure the cargo
  • The breach directly caused the accident
  • The collision caused you to sustain tangible injuries

Is It Possible to Avoid Falling Objects From Passing Cars?

Motorists may not be able to prevent every accident from a falling object, but you can greatly reduce your risk of being involved in this type of crash by:

  • Leaving extra distance between you and a vehicle carrying a load
  • Passing and getting ahead of a vehicle carrying a load if you can do so safely
  • Avoiding tailgating – driving too close - to the vehicle in front of you

Injured in a Collision Caused by Another’s Negligence? Call Our Law Firm Today

Despite your best attempts to avoid being hit by a falling object, an accident may still happen. What can you do to recover compensation for your injuries and other damages?

At Greg Coleman Law, we have decades of experience and have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. We are prepared to investigate the accident that caused your injuries and seek out all possible sources for compensation on your behalf.

Our licensed attorneys fight hard for injured clients. Call today to find out if you have a case. There is no cost or obligation for this meeting. If we take your case, there is nothing to pay up front or while we work on your case.

Experienced. Local. Lawyers. (865) 247-0080