Can You Sue Another Driver When Falling Objects Cause a Wreck?
It’s not uncommon for objects falling from the vehicle of another driver to cause a motor vehicle accident. A person may have accumulated snow or ice that limits the visibility of a trailing driver or causes the other driver to veer to avoid impact. A motorist may have an unsecured load in a trailer or a waste hauler or earth mover may deposit a shower of materials on drivers following in the same lanes. In fact, some of those companies have conspicuous signs on their vehicles advising that they won’t be liable for damages caused by falling debris. Can you file a personal injury claim for losses when an accident stems from an object falling off another vehicle? Absolutely!
Liability for Accumulated Snow and Ice
In New Jersey, there’s a law that requires motorists to remove snow and ice from a vehicle before taking it on the road. Though that’s a criminal law that can lead to fines, the courts in New Jersey have also found that the standard of care for driving a motor vehicle in snowy or icy conditions requires that you take reasonable steps to remove snow or ice from your vehicle. Failure to do so can be deemed negligence.
Falling Debris from Other Vehicles
The same standard will apply for any other falling debris that causes an accident. The court will look at the steps the driver took to prevent items from falling and posing a risk of accident, and will determine if those steps were reasonable. If they were not, the driver may be liable. Furthermore, posting a sign on a vehicle attempting to limit liability will generally have little legal effect.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after a motor vehicle accident, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.
We handle all motor vehicle accident injury claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.