Who Is Responsible for Injuries and Vehicle Damage Caused by Road Debris?

On behalf of The Law Offices of Howard Kornberg Posted in Personal Injury

Debris on the road can turn an ordinary ride into a dangerous situation. Whether it’s something as bulky as a truck tire or as light as a cardboard box, any type of debris can be extremely hazardous when it comes flying at your vehicle.

Unfortunately, this type of accident happens all too often in California, and property damage is just the beginning. Many drivers also suffer from serious injuries produced when road debris hits their vehicles. So, who is responsible for the expenses caused by this dangerous situation? Our Los Angeles personal injury attorney explains.

Damage Coverage for Road Debris Accidents

Any driver who leaves debris on the road is responsible for damages resulting from that debris. Depending on how the damage is caused, the type of insurance that covers your expenses will vary. Every situation is different, so don’t look at this information as the only recourse. We strongly encourage you to speak to our Los Angeles car accident attorneys for help with your case as soon as possible.

Collision Policy

If the debris is in the road and you run over it, you should be covered by your collision insurance if you don’t know who the responsible party is. Without collision insurance, you may be subject to using one of the following insurance types.

Liability Policy

By proving that your vehicle damage and injuries were caused by another negligent party, your expenses should be paid by that individual’s liability insurance. Examples of situations when someone else is liable would be when parts fall off of vehicles, when a driver fails to secure their load, or when they throw something out the window.

Comprehensive Policy

If the debris flies through the air and hits your vehicle, damages may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. It may also fall under your umbrella policy.


UM stands for uninsured motorist, and you may be covered by your UM policy if the responsible party leaves the scene or doesn’t have insurance. When dropping debris, many drivers do not notice and continue driving. Uninsured motorist insurance pays for damages caused by the negligence of someone who flees the scene or cannot be identified.


It is crucial for those who sustain an injury or property damage as a result of roadway debris to understand that they have a limited amount of time to file claims in these cases.

First, it is important for injured victims to know that they must abide by the California personal injury statute of limitations for car accident claims. This means that all lawsuits against any negligent party must be filed within two years from the date the injury occurs. If a government employee causes road debris a government claim must be filed within 6 months with the government entity.

Second, property damage claims as a result of a vehicle accident have different statutes of limitations in California. For any lawsuit that must be filed against the negligent party pertaining to property damage, the claim must be filed within three years from the date the damage occurs.

If any person fails to file a lawsuit for injuries or property damage within the statutory timeframes mentioned above, they will lose the ability to recover the compensation they are entitled to for their injuries or property damage.

We do need to point out that all of the timelines mentioned above have no bearing on insurance deadlines. The vast majority of injury and property damage claims will be resolved through settlements with insurance carriers, but insurance carriers have strict filing deadlines. In general, the insurance carrier needs to know about an injury or property damage accident very soon after the incident occurs. Failing to file a claim with the insurance carrier within a day or two could result in the claim being delayed or denied unnecessarily.

What kind of compensation is available for a roadway debris accident in Los Angeles?

If you or somebody you care about has sustained property damage or an injury after an accident caused by roadway debris, there may be various types of compensation available for your claim. Regardless of whether or not your claim is being handled by an insurance carrier or through a personal injury lawsuit, you may be entitled to the following:

  • Complete coverage of all medical expenses
  • Full coverage of property damage losses
  • Lost income if you cannot work while you recover
  • General household out-of-pocket expenses
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of quality of life damages

The total amount of compensation available after a roadway debris accident in LA will vary depending on the facts and circumstances of each particular case.


If you’ve hit debris in the road, first make sure that everyone in your vehicle is alright. If anyone’s been injured, make sure they get the medical attention they need.

If your vehicle is still moving after hitting debris, quickly assess the situation before determining if it’s still safe to drive. A crack in the windshield doesn’t necessarily require you to stop, but if the debris is stuck beneath your vehicle’s undercarriage, you should pull over and examine the damages. Also, if debris causes a flat tire, don’t slam on the brakes. You don’t want to lose control of your vehicle by panicking.

After assessing the damage, call the police to report the incident and take photos of any debris still on the road. By filing a report, you’ll have proof of what happened in case you want to pursue a claim with the help of your Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. After the police, talk to your personal injury lawyer to discuss the accident. Then call your insurance company to file a claim.

Accidents and injuries caused by road debris can be serious. If you or a passenger were hurt due to someone else’s negligence, contact a Los Angeles personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg right away. The initial consultation is free. Let us fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

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