Road Hazards

Accidents Involving Road Hazards

Few things are more dangerous than hazards in the roadway. It’s not enough to have to defensively driver around impaired and distracted drivers in Jackson, but you have to be on the lookout for debris and garbage on the roadway too. Sure a little bit of litter or a few rocks are probably not going to be a huge deal on a neighborhood road with a low speed limit, but what if you encounter gravel on the roadway, road kill, engine oil or some other type of debris on a major highway or interstate? The results can be devastating, catastrophic and even fatal for drivers and their passenger occupants. It doesn’t matter how safe of a driver you are, if there’s a mattress in the road, what can you do?

Who is Responsible for Debris?

This is the big question. The only definite answer to who is responsible for the debris, is “not you!” Whether it’s a dead deer, bits of tire, slippery engine oil or a dropped load of agricultural hay, you’re not responsible. You were just driving around, minding your own business. You didn’t put the road hazard there. You just had to deal with it. Depending upon what type of hazard it was, it may be possible to track down exactly who was responsible. Not all cases are cut and dry though, so you need to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.

Different Types of Road Hazards
  • Road kill
  • Tires
  • Metal items like nails or screws
  • Auto parts
  • Broken glass and other hazardous sharp material
  • Bicycles
  • Litter and other garbage
  • Plants, branches, twigs, hay, leaves
  • Engine oil and other liquids
  • Rocks, pebbles, gravel and stones
Swerving to Avoid an Accident

All too often, we hear about drivers swerving to avoid road hazards only to find themselves crashing into other cars. Unfortunately, your insurance company is very likely to frown upon this practice. They don’t care if it was a split-second decision to save your life. All they care about is how much the claim is going to cost them. They don’t want to hear about road hazards, so you need to have a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side looking after your rights. Whether you could have stopped in time or not is beside the point. There was a hazard in the road, and that wasn’t your fault. You just had to deal with it.

Avoiding the Hazards

Of course, the best course of action is to avoid hazards. Sadly, that just isn’t always possible. No matter how defensively and safely you drive, there will always be some type of situation you can’t plan for or safely drive your way out of. That’s why it’s absolutely essential to speak with an attorney after your accident. Even if you don’t end up actually needing to use one, at least ask a few questions up front. Every case is different, and accidents involving road hazards can be incredibly complex.

Unsecured Cargo in Jackson

Unsecured cargo is a major cause of road hazards. People are always driving down the road with improperly secured cargo in their truck beds or trailers. This serious problem puts lives at risk everyday in Mississippi and across the U.S. Mattresses, garbage, yard debris and a variety of other items end up in the road, where they definitely don’t belong.

Unavoidable Accidents

At the end of the day, you were involved in an unavoidable accident that wasn’t your fault. Perhaps, somebody lost cargo from his or her truck or trailer. Maybe oil from a previous accident spilled all over the roadway. You just can’t plan for everything. You can only do your best to stay alive and safe and hope that your insurance company understands. Even though that’s rarely the case, you do still have options.

What About Motorcycles?

Motorcycles are at an incredibly high risk where road hazards are involved. Riders have zero room for error. A seemingly minor road hazard can be deadly for somebody on a motorcycle. They need much more space to react to road hazards than drivers, and even a tiny patch of gravel can be deadly. Whether you were injured in a car or motorcycle accident, your top priority needs to be speaking with an attorney. If you or a loved one is injured in an accident involving road hazards in Jackson or the surrounding areas, contact the skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free case evaluation today.

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