You can file a lawsuit against the truck driver/company/owner in Small Claims court (assuming that the damage to your vehicle is limited to the windshield - a relatively minor amount of money). This is precisely why we have litigation. When a person or company won't do what is right or legally responsible, we in America have our court system. It may not be perfect, but a Small Claims suit is relatively inexpensive to file and you can probably do it on your own (without an attorney). Although, getting an Attorney's opinion in your own state probably isn't a bad idea. Good luck.
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Trucker drivers have an obligation to remove ice and snow from their trailers prior to operating their trucks so as to not create such hazards.
49 CFR §396.13: DRIVER INSPECTION...A driver must always be completely confident that the motor vehicle he has inspected is in safe operating condition.
There is no question the truck driver was negligent. In fact, I would argue operating with any amount of ice or snow on a trailer is negligent. Truck drivers must inspect their trailers prior to operating. If the truck driver inspected his trailer and saw the ice and did nothing then he is negligent. If the truck driver inspected his trailer and did not see the ice and did nothing then he is negligent. If the truck driver did not inspect his trailer then he is negligent. The insurance company's basis for denial actually proves your case. It appears that the truck driver's inspection for snow and ice consisted of driving down the highway for 70 miles. This would constitute a negligent inspection.
I assume your deductible is higher than the cost of the windshield? if not, go through your insurance company and they will collect your deductible and their payment from the trucker's insurance company. If that is not an option, then sue them in small claims court (assuming your damges are less than $5,000.00).
If you have comprehensive automobile insurance, you should file a claim under your own policy. Otherwise, once the adverse party's insurance carrier denies your claim, your alternative is to sue the individual truck driver and his company in court.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to insure proper advice is received.
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