Mattresses, coolers, refrigerators, grills, chairs, barrels, pallets — have you ever seen objects like these littering the road and wondered how they got there? While there may be other plausible explanations, one of the most common is that the items were not properly secured and fell from a vehicle. Debris that falls from a commercial or non-commercial vehicle can cause serious injuries or fatalities to unsuspecting motorists, passengers, and pedestrians.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in such an accident, or if you have lost a family member in one, it is important to contact a Georgia road debris wreck lawyer. The personal injury attorneys at the Mann Law Firm can help by reviewing your circumstances and discussing all available legal options. Call us at 478-742-3381 or fill out our online form. In addition to cases handled in Macon, we are prepared to handle claims on behalf of clients in Dublin, Warner Robins, Milledgeville, and other Georgia communities.
Imagine heading down the highway, thinking about what’s for dinner, when all of a sudden you are forced to make a split-second decision to avoid something tumbling out of the pick-up truck in front of you. Even if you successfully manage to miss the item, the maneuvering may cause you to lose control of your car or to run into another vehicle. In some instances, there is no chance to get out of the way. The debris drops without warning, shattering a car’s windshield and injuring or killing the people inside. At 55 miles per hour, an object weighing just 20 pounds that falls from a vehicle strikes with the impact of half a ton.
These accidents occur more often than you might think. Using data collected in 2010 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Government Accountability Office estimated roadway debris caused about 440 fatalities and 10,000 injuries in more than 51,000 incidents that year. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that road debris played a role in more than 200,000 crashes from 2011 to 2014, killing more than 500 people and injuring another 39,000. These numbers represent a 40 percent increase since AAA’s last study in 2001.
It happened to a woman in Seattle who was nearly decapitated and permanently blinded when an unsecured 40-pound board fell from an open trailer traveling in front of her Jeep, smashing her windshield. It happened to a man in Phoenix who was killed when an unsecured piece of scrap metal escaped from a truck hauling a load of junk, breaking his windshield and impaling his heart. Stories like these have led states to pass laws that make it illegal to drive with unsecured loads. Although all 50 states now have such laws, only 16 currently impose jail time as a possible punishment, and only 11 levy fines of more than $500.
On the roof of a car, in the bed of a truck, in a trailer being hauled – wherever objects are being transported, they should be tied down, no matter how far the motorist is going or how fast. To protect yourself while driving, allow room to react by not tailgating and leaving space on one side of your car in case you need to move over quickly. Make it a habit to continually search the road ahead for debris, and if you see you are about to hit something, reduce your speed as much as possible.
Contact Our Middle Georgia Car Wreck Lawyers
If a vehicle with an unsecured load caused an injury or death in your family, the Macon debris crash attorneys of the Mann Law Firm can help. We aggressively seek full and fair compensation for our clients, and are always willing to take a case to trial if necessary. The damages available in an accident claim may include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages due to time away from work, impaired capacity to work in the future, and emotional distress. If you lost a loved one due to a driver’s negligent behavior, you could be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death claim.
We have been successfully litigating personal injury cases across Georgia for over 50 years. Our job is to examine the circumstances of what caused the accident while focusing on our client’s future. It’s important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible after the injury because any delay can cause critical evidence to be lost and make it harder to prove fault. You need an investigative team working on your behalf to locate and safeguard the evidence proving your claim. While we cannot guarantee the outcome of any case, we can promise to listen, to advise, and to deliver unwavering legal advocacy on your behalf. Contact us at 478-742-3381 or use this convenient online contact form. Let us help you.
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