We blogged a few weeks ago about a tragic incident on New Jersey roads, when a 50 pound dumbbell came crashing through a man’s windshield. The incident caused injuries that would later prove to be fatal. Another incident with uncanny parallels occurred on January 26 on the Garden State Parkway.
Around 3:30pm near milepost 134.3, a driver in a Lexus ES3 was injured when a hammer came flying through his windshield. He did not require medical attention and only sustained minor injuries. However, as we’ve seen, it could very easily have been worse.
Police do not know whether the hammer had fallen off a vehicle or if it had been intentionally thrown from a vehicle or dropped from a nearby overpass. It is not known whether the two incidents are connected, though there are obvious similarities.
Assigning Fault When Flying Debris in the Roads Causes Injury
Especially in situations where it is not apparent what led to a personal injury, it can be difficult for the victim to seek the financial recovery he or she needs to be made whole again.
The first thing a victim of flying debris in the road will want to do is get in contact with police as well as their auto insurance company. Police will investigate the circumstances leading up to the injury to determine if there is an at-fault party or if the injuries were accidental. If the debris fell off a vehicle because it was not secure, the police may be able to identify where the debris came from. This would allow you to pursue damages from whoever dropped the debris for your medical bills and car damage.
If the act was intentional, the victim will need police assistance to track down the perpetrator. The victim will also need legal assistance to begin the process of filing a third-party negligence claim. It can be difficult to track down the perpetrator of intentional acts like this one, but police have access to valuable tools that can help them find out who caused your injury.
Depending on the type of automobile insurance you carry, your injuries from flying debris may be covered. If you carry the bare minimum in insurance, you may not be covered. However, many comprehensive insurance policies do include vandalism. If your car is new or being financed, your lender will require you to carry comprehensive insurance).