The open road can be a dangerous place. That danger seems to increase exponentially whenever a massively sized tractor-trailer truck is anywhere near your vicinity.

Chances are that in your travels throughout the Fall River region, you’ve found yourself behind a truck. You’ve likely cringed at the pitter-patter noise of gravel, sand and rocks that were kicked up by the truck and hurled at your windshield. The question is, who’s responsible for paying for any damage your car incurs because of this neighboring truck?

In Massachusetts, more often than not your insurance company is responsible

If your windshield or another portion of your car is damaged due to a truck, chances are your Massachusetts insurance company will take care of it. This particular damage is covered under the comprehensive portion of your policy.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should drive carelessly behind or near trucks. You’ll notice, for example, that many municipal vehicles (such as those hauling sand or salt) have a disclaimer on their trucks, stating that all drivers must not tailgate. In order to ensure you’re in compliance with Massachusetts law (and to protect your car) make sure to adhere to these notices. If you don’t, you’ll have a hard time seeking compensation from the city.

Truck drivers can be held responsible. Here’s when

Wintertime in Southeast Massachusetts can be brutal. Icy roads, potholes, and obstructed views due to snow banks are just some of the obstacles you have to maneuver. One of the most dangerous fallouts from winter, however, is ice and snow that falls off a truck’s roof.

Truck drivers can be held responsible for any damage done to you or your car if the origin of the damage was ice left on the truck’s roof.

What you should keep in mind is that the snow or ice on the top of the tractor-trailer must have been left up there for an unreasonable time. If it just snowed in New Bedford, for example, it’s not reasonable to assume that a truck driver has the ability to pull over on the highway and clean off his roof.

However, if, in fact, a reasonable amount of time has passed, and ice from a truck’s roof cracks your windshield and causes injury to you or a passenger, then the truck driver can be held responsible.

The issue is that it’ll be difficult to identify the truck driver. Chances are the driver will have no idea that any issue occurred, and he’ll continue to drive on. This will make it near impossible for you to confidently identify the driver.

That being said, if you can identify the driver (perhaps you have the plate number), then you can seek legal action.

Know your rights and protect yourself with proper legal representation in Greater Fall River

Attorneys Steve Sabra and Matt Aspden have provided legal representation to residents of Somerset, Swansea, Fall River, Westport, Taunton, New Bedford and beyond since 1987. We hire expert witnesses and investigators, when needed, to ensure that our clients win their case. Learn more by contacting us today.