Car driving on highway.

What should I do if I run over car crash debris?

By Steven Miller
Senior Partner

Car accidents are an unfortunate and all-too-common occurrence on the roadways. In addition to the physical and emotional trauma that can result from a collision, car accidents can also cause debris to scatter across the roadway. This debris can pose a danger to other drivers and their vehicles. If you run over car crash debris, you may be wondering what your options are. This article will provide you with some guidance on what to do in this situation.

Take these Steps

Assess the situation

If you run over car crash debris, the first thing you should do is assess the situation. Check your vehicle for damage, and be sure to look at your tires and rims for signs of damage or punctures. If you notice any damage, take pictures of it as evidence. Additionally, try to identify what type of debris you have run over. This can help you determine whether the debris is hazardous and whether it needs to be reported to the authorities.

Pull over to a safe location

If you have run over car crash debris, it is important to pull over to a safe location as soon as possible. Look for a location where you can park your car safely, away from traffic. If you are on a busy road or highway, try to move your car to the nearest shoulder or off-ramp. If you are unable to move your car safely, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of your presence.

Contact the authorities

After pulling over to a safe location, contact the authorities to report the debris. This can be done by calling 911 or the non-emergency police line. Provide the authorities with as much information as possible, such as your location, the type of debris you encountered, and any damage that has occurred to your vehicle. By reporting the debris, you can help prevent further accidents from occurring.

Document the incident

If you have run over car crash debris and suffered damage to your vehicle, it is important to document the incident. Take pictures of any damage that has occurred, including your tires, rims, and undercarriage. Additionally, collect any debris that is still on the roadway, and take pictures of it as well. This evidence can be useful if you need to file an insurance claim or pursue legal action.

File an insurance claim

If you have suffered damage to your vehicle as a result of running over car crash debris, you may be able to file an insurance claim to cover the cost of repairs. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the incident, and provide them with any documentation or evidence you have collected. Your insurance policy may cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, depending on the type of coverage you have.

Consider legal action

If the car crash debris was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to pursue legal action to recover damages. This can include the driver or owner of the vehicle that caused the accident, or the party responsible for maintaining the roadway. To pursue legal action, you will need to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies and defense attorneys, and fight for your rights.

Running over car crash debris can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous experience. However, by following the steps outlined above, you can protect your safety and your legal rights. Remember to always prioritize your safety when encountering debris on the roadway, and to consult with an attorney if you need assistance.

How common is it to drive over car crash debris? 

It is difficult to determine exactly how common it is to drive over car crash debris, as there is no centralized reporting system for these incidents. However, it is clear that car accidents and debris on the roadway are frequent occurrences. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 5 to 6 million police-reported car crashes occur annually. Many of these accidents leave debris on the roadway, which can pose a risk to other drivers. While it is impossible to predict when or where car crash debris will occur, it is important for drivers to be aware of the potential risks and to take appropriate precautions to avoid damage to their vehicles or injury to themselves.

Who is responsible for the debris after an accident?

Determining responsibility for car crash debris can be a complex issue, as it depends on a variety of factors such as the cause of the accident, the location of the debris, and the party responsible for maintaining the roadway.

In general, the driver or owner of the vehicle involved in the accident is responsible for removing any debris that is left on the roadway. This may include damaged vehicle parts, broken glass, or other debris that may pose a hazard to other drivers. If the driver or owner is unable to remove the debris themselves, they may need to hire a professional cleanup crew or contact the appropriate authorities to arrange for cleanup.

In some cases, the responsibility for car crash debris may fall on the party responsible for maintaining the roadway. This may include state or local government agencies, private contractors, or other entities that are responsible for ensuring that the roadway is safe and free from hazards. If the accident was caused by a hazard on the roadway, such as a pothole or a damaged guardrail, the responsible party may be liable for any resulting debris. Ultimately, the responsibility for car crash debris will depend on the specific circumstances of the accident. 

Consult with Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. 

If you have been involved in a car accident or have run over car crash debris, it is important to take immediate action to protect yourself and your rights. Start by contacting MMS Personal Injury, where our experienced attorneys can help you understand your legal rights and options. We can help you pursue compensation for any damages or injuries that you have suffered as a result of the accident. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Our team is here to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Note: This page was written with the assistance of artificial intelligence software, but was reviewed for accuracy and approved by attorney Steven Miller, Esq.

About the Author
Steven Miller, Esq. is the founding member and Senior Partner in Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. Mr. Miller’s extensive career as a trial attorney spans five decades. He tries cases for the catastrophically injured victims of construction site accidents, motor vehicle and premises accidents caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Miller is a detail oriented, tenacious attorney committed to achieving the maximum results for his clients; he has obtained numerous seven figure verdicts and settlements.