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Claims: Is road resurfacing company liable for my broken windshield?


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Question:  I was driving on a highway where the road was being resurfaced. I was following behind a pilot car, and as I drove alongside the resurfacing machines, a piece of asphalt or rock hit my windshield. Should the construction be held liable or is this road hazard?

Answer:  Likely the construction company wouldn't be liable for your broken windshield unless they were doing something negligent at the time, and thus this would be considered a road hazard.

It sounds as if the resurfacing machine was working normally, with a pilot vehicle there to warn other drivers of the work that was being done to the roadway. If this is the case, then any asphalt pieces or rocks that may have been thrown up during the resurfacing process would just be a hazard of driving on a road that is being worked on.

If instead, the machine was malfunctioning and pieces of asphalt were being kicked up by the machine were due to a problem with the machinery, then you should be able to take issue and make a claim with the construction company's car insurance company.

Even if the construction company is at-fault, it can be difficult to get their insurance information and place such a claim. So, if you have comprehensive coverage, then, instead, you can make a claim for your windshield damage with your own car insurance company.

When making the first-party auto insurance claim with your insurance company, you can tell them what happened and if they feel the construction company is liable in any way your insurer will subrogate with the company responsible for the resurfacing machine, so that they can be repaid for the monies they spend on your claim.

Comprehensive coverage comes with a deductible. You would normally have to pay this amount, and if your insurer is able to successfully subrogate with the construction company's insurance company, you may get your deductible back.

In some states, your comprehensive coverage deductible amount is waived for windshield claims, in most states though your deductible will be due to get your windshield fixed.

Without comprehensive coverage, you will have to pay for your own windshield damages unless you believe the construction company was indeed negligent and are able to convince the construction company and their insurer of this, so that they will pay for damage to your windshield.

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