On Wednesday, a runaway flatbed truck caused significant damage when it careened down a steep road, hit a utility pole, crashed into two parked cars, and took out a streetlight. The accident, which occurred on Fendale Avenue in Dorchester, caused serious damages but no injuries were suffered.
The outcome could have been much worse. Had the truck not been forced to a stop by its collision with the cars and light pole, the accident may have ended tragically. The truck stopped mere inches before rolling into a busy intersection. In another stroke of luck, on its course down the steep hill, the truck happened to veer right, into a parking lot instead of into the lane of traffic.
According to police reports, the flatbed, which was parked legally on the street, was carrying appliances and scrap metal. After parking, the driver vacated the truck to collect additional items. Within moments, it was sailing down Fendale Avenue.
This situation poses the question – who is at fault when an unoccupied vehicle causes an accident? While the driver in the above case will likely avoid charges, as he was not behind the wheel when the accident occurred, that doesn’t mean he isn’t financially liable. From an insurance standpoint, if an unoccupied vehicle slips out of gear and crashes into another object, the vehicle owner is responsible. Since the driver will generally be at fault in this scenario, any damages to another person’s property will likely be paid under his or her property damage liability insurance.
Tips for Preventing Runaway Vehicle Accidents
- Always put manual transmission vehicles in gear while parked
- Always use the parking brake
- Avoid parking on steep hills during icy or snowy weather conditions
- Never leave children or pets unattended in the vehicle (they can inadvertently bump the gear shift)
- Always make sure your vehicle is in park before you exit
- Always leave plenty of room between vehicles when you parallel park
Altman & Altman, LLP – MA Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured or received property damage in any type of motor vehicle accident, Altman & Altman, LLP can help you determine your rights and options. Even if you think the other party is not responsible, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced motor vehicle attorney immediately. The more time that passes between the accident and legal action, the less chance you have of recovering damages. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, property damages, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Our legal team has been successfully representing accident and injury victims for nearly 50 years. The physical, emotional, and financial toll of a motor vehicle accident can be devastating. Let us help you. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free consultation about your case.