The accident on I-64 near Armistead Avenue in Hampton, Virginia (VA, durng the 2011 Labor Day weekend was described this way in a recent article in the Daily Press: “The [state police] report says a tire dislodged from a car driving 55 mph. The tire flew into the van with such force it nearly killed the woman on the passenger side of the van.”
This so-called “freak accident” is not all that uncommon. Parts of vehicles and debris from the road injure drivers and passengers often. Tragically the accident left the 40-year-old woman from Newport News, VA, incapacitated and unable to care for herself. And her parents have found they need a power of attorney to handle their daughter’s affairs.
In cases like this, the victim and their families are often forced to rely on fundraisers. But, in some cases, the victims also have a legal recourse. When road debris ends up causing injury or death, somebody is usually liable, even in single car crashes, if the debris has fallen off a truck the driver or the trucking company has failed in its responsibility to secure the load. If the object is a tire, the owner of a vehicle has likely failed to secure that tire correctly.
In August, 2010 we reported on how the North Carolina (NC) State Highway Patrol detailed the death of a Bradenton, Florida (FL) resident who was killed on I-95 when his car struck a container that fell in front of him after a load fell off a tractor-trailer. In that case a truck driver was clearly at fault because his load was too tall for a bridge over the interstate.
It can be more difficult to establish where debris that causes injury or death comes from. In 2010 our Virginia and North Carolina personal injury attorneys reported on a fatal accident on -40 in Davie County, NC in which a 59-year-old man was killed by a 3-foot wide aluminum disk that flew into the windshield his SUV and struck him on the head. It was believed to be from a truck.
To learn more, read this FAQ about loads falling off trucks and who is liable.