Drivers often face many different kinds of hazards on the road. One of these hazards may include objects falling from vehicles. When objects fall off the back of a vehicle and cause an accident, it can result in serious injuries, death and property damage.
If an object was not properly secured to a vehicle, who may be liable for damages? Is there anything drivers can do to try and avoid falling objects?
These are all valid concerns that an experienced vehicle crash lawyer in Windsor may be able to help you with. If you have suffered damages in a crash, he or she can help you better understand your rights and available legal options in this situation. The initial consultation is free of charge and comes with no obligation to retain our services. We only get paid if we help you recover compensation.
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General Liability for Damages in a Crash
If an object falls off a vehicle and hits another vehicle on the road, the driver transporting the object may not be necessarily liable for damages. A crash may still occur even if the driver assumed at fault did everything he or she could have done to secure the load properly to his or her vehicle.
In the event of a crash, Ontario is a no-fault insurance system. Regardless of who was at fault, each driver’s insurance company will handle their claims and pay for damages. This helps streamline the process but it does not mean, however, that no one is at fault for the crash. The insurance companies of all drivers involved will investigate the crash and determine fault.
Under the no-fault system, accident benefits coverage is available even if you are at fault. This mandatory coverage could help cover medical and other crash-related expenses. If you carry collision coverage – which is optional for Ontario drivers – it could help cover vehicle damage if you hit another vehicle or object. It is important to know what your auto insurance policy does and does not cover.
Negligence Due to Failure to Secure a Load
Negligence can lead to catastrophic crashes. A driver who fails to properly secure an object to his or her vehicle may be considered negligent. Perhaps the driver felt the load would be too heavy to fall off. Regardless, loose or unsecured objects can cause significant damages, especially at high speeds.
Furniture, appliances, and equipment that fall off a vehicle can create a road hazard, causing drivers to try and swerve out of the way to avoid hitting them. These objects can fall on top of a vehicle, such as the hood, or go through the windshield. When this happens, the injuries can be life-threatening.
Section 111(2) of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act outlines the proper loading of a vehicle. A driver cannot operate a vehicle on the highway carrying a load unless it has been securely attached. No portion of the load may become dislodged or fall, leak, spill or blow from the vehicle.
If you were seriously injured due to another’s negligence, a potential legal claim may be worth pursuing – especially if you have costly medical bills and missed work. You may want to consider consulting with a lawyer who can advocate for your rights and help you prove the other driver’s reckless actions.
Is It a Driver’s Duty To Avoid Falling Objects?
All drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. Part of this duty is to pay attention to the road and look out for hazards. A driver, however, does not have a duty to take precautions to avoid falling objects caused by the vehicle travelling in front of him or her unless:
- The driver was tailgating or following the loaded vehicle too closely
- There was some type of warning that the load was in danger of falling and the driver travelling behind the vehicle had enough time to react
If the driver was keeping a safe following distance and did not reasonably know of the potential hazard, then a crash caused by an object falling off a vehicle would have been out of his or her control.
Keeping Yourself and Others Safe on the Road
Any driver deciding to transport furniture, appliances or equipment must do everything possible to properly secure the load before heading off. These safety measures may include the following:
- Covering the load with secured tarps
- Using thicker rope and vehicle straps
- Refraining from overloading the vehicle
- Inspecting the load between each stop
You can also help minimize the risk of being in a crash and avoiding falling objects from vehicles by:
- Staying focused and alert for possible road hazards
- Slowing down if you see debris up ahead on the road
- Checking for blind spots before making a lane change
- Avoiding distractions, such as texting while driving
Our Firms Offers a Free Initial Consultation
If you have been injured in a crash as a result of a negligent driver, our lawyers at Greg Monforton & Partners are ready to offer legal assistance. You may be eligible to receive significant financial compensation to help cover medical expenses, lost wages and other crash-related damages.
The initial consultation is free of charge. There is no legal obligation involved. If we determine that you have a valid claim and decide to move forward, there are no upfront fees to utilize our services.
Call a Licensed Lawyer Today: (866) 320-4770