If a car in front of me kicks up debris from the road which hits my car and causes damage, is he liable?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by psteng19, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. psteng19

    psteng19 Diamond Member

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    Some guy driving in front of me kicked up a huge piece of debris, which smacked right into my headlight, hood, fender and caused visible scratches.
    I'm pretty sure he saw what happened because he then started driving like he wanted to get away... really fast, changing lanes, dodging traffic, etc.

    Is he liable?
    I wasn't tailgating.
     
  2. Vic

    Vic Elite Member

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    No.

    Comprehensive coverage on your insurance.
     
  3. AnyMal

    AnyMal Lifer

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  4. Phoenix86

    Phoenix86 Lifer

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    Road debris=no.
    Something off his car=yes.

    I'm sure this varies by state.
     
  5. dullard

    dullard Elite Member

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    If debris hit your car, you were too close. Call it tailgating or not, you were too close. Thus it was your fault and you are liable (true in most states).

    Edit: since this was misinterpreted, here is a retype:

    Whether you were tailgating or not, you were too close. You can be too close to avoid flying debris even if you are not tailgating.
     
  6. MercenaryForHire

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    IANAL and YMMV, but generally if debris strikes you while airborne and without bouncing, the originator of the debris is at fault, unless you were deemed to be following too closely. Check your local laws.

    Edit - as mentioned above, it's the originator of the debris. If it was on the road, "you should have avoided it" is all you'll get.

    - M4H
     
  7. psteng19

    psteng19 Diamond Member

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    Nope, I was well behind him. It was a flimsy piece of hard plastic that kicked up really high and got good air.

    But I am fine with the answer no, he is not liable.
     
  8. dullard

    dullard Elite Member

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    If a piece of ANYTHING flies up and hits you, you were too close.

    Edit: Since this was misinterpreted, here is a retype.

    Whether you were tailgating or not, you were too close. You can be too close to avoid flying debris even if you are not tailgating.
     
  9. leftyman

    leftyman Diamond Member

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    thats your answer.
     
  10. randay

    randay Lifer

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    so if a plastic bag flies up and hovers in the air for about 2 minutes then hits your car, you are too close to the car in front of you?
     
  11. Zenmervolt

    Zenmervolt Supermoderator<br>The Garage<br>Elite member
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    If it were road debris, the only way he would be liable would be if he hit it because he was driving in an unsafe manner (for example, drunk driver hits a tree that falls onto your car).

    If it was a part of his vehicle, or if it was something that he threw out of his vehicle, then he's liable.

    ZV
     
  12. imported_Devine

    imported_Devine Golden Member

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    Of course :p
     
  13. dmw16

    dmw16 Diamond Member

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    This is absolutely NOT TRUE! My car got hit by a rock kicked up by a truck in the lane next to me. Was I too close? Get off your high horse about it. The right object in the right circumstance can get a good amount of distance and hang time.
     
  14. Viper GTS

    Viper GTS Lifer

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    At some point the risk from following to closely fades into stupidity for not hitting your brakes.

    Viper GTS
     
  15. OutHouse

    OutHouse Lifer

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    \
    yip
     
  16. psteng19

    psteng19 Diamond Member

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    I don't really want to argue this but I don't know how you can even debate it if you didn't witness my situation.
     
  17. Zenmervolt

    Zenmervolt Supermoderator<br>The Garage<br>Elite member
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    I've seen some things get spectacular air. I was on a drive with the PCA and the guys at the front of the line were about three car lengths behind a pickup that was carrying a propane grill in its bed. The grill was not secured and the guy in the truck whipped around a corner and the grill was simply launched. The grill hit almost immediately, but the cooking grate was flung skyward and landed off to the side of the third Porsche in the line. (That's about 11 carlengths behind the pickup.) The lead car, by the way, was perfectly able to stop in time to avoid hitting the grill.

    It's entirely possible to be following at a safe distance and still have kicked-up debris hit you.

    ZV
     
  18. dullard

    dullard Elite Member

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    Like Viper said, again it isn't the liability of the car in front of you. It is your fault for not hitting the brakes.
    This only applies to the car ahead of you. You can't really follow *behind* too close when you aren't behind someone. Common sense for the win. I can see people in this thread don't have common sense. Attack the messenger and not the message. :roll:
    We aren't talking about safe distances. We are talking about liability. Safe distance is not equal to liability distance.
    Go ahead and take it to court. You can bet the front car driver's lawyers and the judge didn't witness the situation either. But of course, they can't debate the liability either according to you.
     
  19. OS

    OS Lifer

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    how can i be supreme court god like some of you
     
  20. Vic

    Vic Elite Member

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    :roll: to this thread.

    To those who think the driver of the car is at fault, tell ya what: track him down (somehow), take him to court, and then try to prove before a judge that it was his car and his car only that kicked up the road debris that damaged your car.

    Yeah, good luck with that.

    In the meantime, the OP should call his insurance company.
     
  21. Aikouka

    Aikouka Lifer

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    Seems to me that people are arguing whether or not it's the OP's fault because he should've been able to avoid it.

    It's comprehensive by the way. Also, trying to swerve out of the way of a possible comprehensive claim accident is a bad idea, you can end up wrecking or causing an accident. Comprehensive usually doesn't ever raise your rates, collision does ;) (usually only on claims > $1000 from what I've seen).
     
  22. d3n

    d3n Golden Member

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    I take the view that if you get hit you were too close. I am split on it a bit.

    One of the more dangerous things I see is construction equipment pulling off of a job site with a bulldozer or such that has a million chunks of mud and gravel waiting to go flying off. It should be a practice to clean equipment off before taking it on an interstate.


    There is one condition that I see being able to nail someone for liability. That is if they are passing illegally on a shoulder and they happen to kick some debris up on your car. You only have a chance at this if a police officer observers the illegal maneuver. Otherwise your SOL.
     
  23. DougK62

    DougK62 Diamond Member

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    Good luck. The only case you could have is if the vehicle was not road worthy - like the huge raised up pickup trucks that do not have fender flares which results in it flinging rocks.

     
  24. mugs

    mugs Lifer

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    I don't agree that he was necessarily too close.

    But the other driver definitely was not at fault, which leaves the OP to pay for the damage to his own car.
     
  25. Chiropteran

    Chiropteran Diamond Member

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    What about a giant sheet of ice coming off the roof of the truck in front of you and pieces bouncing up and hitting your windshield?