CHARLOTTE, N.C. — We've all had it happen: You're driving to work or running errands — when in an instant — you have to swerve to avoid debris.
"It's extremely frustrating," said WCNC viewer Nick Eckhardt.
In fact, in just 18 months, Eckhardt said he had to replace two windshields on his way to work from Charlotte to Mooresville.
"The first time was right off the 485 in Pineville," Eckhardt said. "Second time was probably at Exit 23."
Thankfully, he wasn't hurt in either instance. But what about the damage to his car? Who's really responsible?
"It was definitely a dump truck hauling material to construction work," Eckhardt said.
He wasn't able to track down the driver's license plate number, so he called his insurance company to help fix the problem. He still ended up paying some out of pocket.
"The first was was $40 because they repaired a crack," Eckhardt explained. "The second was $483, just shy of my $500 deductible."
WCNC went to work to find out what can be done if you can't get the license plate or prove exactly what hit your car but you do have the location. There's a solution that can help you get reimbursed.
In an email from NCDOT's Jen Thompson, if the incident took place in a work zone for a contracted project, then the local NCDOT office will send any received claims to the contractor. Under the terms of the contract, it is the contractor who is responsible for possible reimbursement for damage that takes place in the work zone, not NCDOT. For example, Thompson said the I-77 express lane construction continues between mile markers 11 and 36. If your car is damaged in that area, the claim would be forwarded to the contractor handling the project.
"Work zones can present an unfamiliar situation to drivers," Thompson said. "Traffic pattern changes, closed or narrow lanes and the presence of construction equipment and workers can cause challenges for motorists as they travel through work zones."
Thompson said drivers should always stay alert and aware of their surroundings and to use caution in work zones.