Every driver is faced with a wide range of dangers when driving. While there is always a risk of colliding with another car, not all accidents are car-to-car collisions. Some car accidents usually involve factors such as animals crossing the road, potholes, and bad weather conditions.
However, one of the most common causes of car accidents is running over something on the freeway. If this happens to you, you need to stay calm and act swiftly to avoid further damage.
Sometimes, you may be wondering if your insurance will cover the damages caused by running over something on the freeway. The answer to this question largely depends on the circumstances of the accident and your insurance policy.
It is always advisable to err on the side of caution and contact your insurance company regardless of whether you think they will cover the damages. Your insurer will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take.
So, what should you do if you run over something on a freeway? Read on to find out everything you need to know.
Step 1: Pull Over to the Side of the Road
If you have run over something on the freeway, the first thing you need to do is pull over to the side of the road. If possible, move your car off the road completely. This will make it easier for other drivers to see you and avoid hitting your vehicle.
Once you’ve pulled over, put your hazard lights on to warn other drivers that you are stationary, and they should take extra care when approaching you.
Step 2: Check for Damages
Once you’ve pulled over and put your hazard lights on, get out of the car and check for damages. It is essential to do this even if you think there is only minor damage to your vehicle.
If you can’t see any damage, it is still a good idea to contact your insurance company and let them know what happened. They will be able to advise you on what to do next.
Step 3: Contact the Police
If you have run over something on the freeway, you need to contact the police. This is especially important if there is damage to your car or if you hit a person.
The police will be able to help you with the next steps, such as exchanging insurance information or filing a report.
Step 4: Find Out What/Who Caused the Incident
While you wait for the police to arrive at the scene, try to figure out what really happened. The average highway in the United States contains a wide range of hazards ranging from rough roadways, potholes, dangerous construction zones, cracks, and uneven shoulders.
However, flying debris may happen due to human error making the responsible party fully accountable for the damage to your car. Flying debris can occur as a result of:
- A truck experiencing a lost cargo load.
- Another driver throwing something out of their window.
- A tire burst, sending pieces of rubber flying all over.
- A trailer becoming detached from a car and hits your vehicle.
- Another accident, causing shrapnel on the road.
It is essential to document everything you can about the incident to have all the information you need when filing a claim with your insurance company.
This includes taking photos of the damage to your car and any debris on the road that may have caused the accident. If there are witnesses, get their contact information to follow up with them later.
Step 5: Exchange Insurance Information
Once the police have arrived at the scene and sorted out what happened, exchange insurance information with the other driver/s involved.
If there was only damage to your car and no one was hurt, you can usually sort out the repairs between you and the other driver’s insurance company.
However, if someone was injured or there was a lot of damage caused, you may need to go through your own insurance company to make a claim.
Step 6: Contact Your Insurance Company
Regardless of whether you are making a claim or not, you should always contact your insurance company to let them know what happened.
They will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take and may even help you with filing your claim.
Step 7: Get Your Car Repaired
Once you have sorted out the insurance side of things, you need to get your car repaired.
If the damage is minor, you may be able to get it repaired at a local body shop. However, if the damage is more serious, you need to take your car to a specialist.
If you have comprehensive insurance, your insurer may even be able to help you find a reputable repair service.
What Does Insurance Do About Debris Damage?
Generally, if you have comprehensive insurance, your insurer will cover the cost of repairs to your car if it is damaged by flying debris.
However, it is always good to check with them before making a claim, as some policies have exclusions for certain types of damage.
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For example, some insurers may not cover damage caused by potholes. Also, if you have a high deductible, you may need to pay for some of the repairs yourself.
The insurance company will assess the damage to your car and then decide whether to issue a check for the repairs or declare your vehicle a total loss.
If your car is a total loss, you will be paid the market value of your car minus the deductible. You can top up the money and buy a new car.
Deciding Whether to File a Claim or Not
Before you file a claim with your insurance company, ensure the damage you’ve sustained in the incident exceeds your deductible to make a claim worth filing.
For example, if you have a $500 deductible and the damage to your car is only $400, it may not be worth filing a claim.
This is because you will only get $400 back from the insurance company, which is less than what you would have to pay out of your own pocket to repair the damage.
Another thing to consider is your insurance premium. If you make a claim, your premium will likely go up at the next renewal.
So, if the damage to your car is only a few hundred dollars, it may be cheaper to pay for the repairs yourself rather than making a claim and having your premium increased.
Of course, if you have been injured in the accident or there is a lot of damage to your car, you should always contact your insurance company to see if making a claim is the best option.
What to Do If You Can’t Afford the Repairs
If you can’t afford the repairs to your car, consider getting a loan from a friend or family member.
Another option is to use a credit card, although you will be required to repay the debt within a few months to avoid paying interest on the balance.
Another possibility is getting an estimate for the repairs and then negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
If they are willing to pay at least half of the cost of repairs, you may be able to get the other half by taking out a personal loan or using a credit card.
Making a claim on your insurance should be a last resort, as it will almost certainly result in an increase in your premium.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Although you may think that the damage is minor and you can handle the repairs and insurance claim yourself, there are some situations where it is advisable to seek legal help.
For example, if you have been injured in the accident or if the other driver was at fault, you may want to consult with an attorney to see if you have a case.
An attorney can also help you if your insurance company is refusing to pay out on your claim or if you are having difficulty getting the other driver’s insurance company to pay their share of the repairs.
Having your car damaged by flying debris can be a stressful experience, but it is essential to stay calm and take the necessary steps to get your vehicle repaired.
If you have comprehensive insurance, your insurer should cover the cost of repairs.
However, it is always good to check with your insurer before making a claim, as some policies have exclusions for certain types of damage.
If you can’t afford the repairs, there are several options available to you, including taking out a loan or negotiating with the other driver’s insurance company.
If you have been injured in the accident or have difficulty getting your claim paid, you may want to seek legal help.