I hope someone here can help me out. I've browsed through some different posts on debris and un-secure loads but I have a unique situation. So tonight I was driving to the barn I ride at in Milton. I was in the fast lane there was a car beside me to the right and in front of him was a transport truck hauling a flatbed with some sort of equipment on it. All of a sudden a black chunk of something almost the size of a volleyball flies off the trailer hitting the ground bouncing a few meters ahead of me. I didn't have enough time to stop and didn't want to swerve because of the car beside me. So I went right over it and painfully listened to the sound of the solid object bounce repeatedly off the bottom of my car. I caught a glimpse of the white CN rail truck which now had sparks coming from the back drivers side of the trailer yank his truck across the other lanes of traffic to pull off. Here is the dumb move on my part... instead of pulling over as well... I kept going. I don't know much about cars and figured if no warning lights came on it should be okay. I made it about 15 min onto Guelph line where my car started acting wonky and revving really high which then triggered the "service engine soon" message...so I pulled over. I called my boyfriend and on his way to come get me he saw the truck I described still on the side of the road. He pulled over and got the guys plate number and talked to him and asked if he saw something come off his truck. Naturally the truck driver though shaky replied "oh no but when I was pulling off I saw a lot of debris". When my boyfriend got to where I was we noticed my car was leaking red fluid and guessed it was tranny fluid. We went in his truck up to the gas station and got lucky to meet a really nice tow truck driver there who came back with us gave us some fluid to make it to the barn and said on his way back to Toronto in the a.m. he would tow it for me. He also informed me that apparently CN or the driver wont be responsible because when something comes off another vehicle it has to directly hit you first... and since it hit the ground first its not his fault. I think that's absolutely ridiculous! I don't want my insurance to go up and doubt they will even cover it so havn't bothered calling them. I also wont know the true damage until tomorrow afternoon when I get my car in somewhere to have a look. I'm going to call CN ... what do you all think are the chances I may get something for the damages this caused to my vehicle/ 100 dollar tow bill ?
The fact that the debris hit the ground prior to striking your vehicle does not clear the truck owner/operator of any fault. However I doubt the trucking company would readily pay for any damages upon request since doing so could imply an admittance of fault in later civil actions. Technically you were involved in a motor vehicle collision and the matter should have been reported to the police, particularly with the apparent level of damage to your vehicle.
I think at this point what you have is more of a civil matter then a highway traffic act question. The truck owner/operator would likely be responsible for some of the damages, although they could argue you're partially at fault for continuing to drive and thereby exacerbating the problem. You'll also have to verify that the truck is actually owned and operated by CN, as their box cars are frequently loaded onto private trucking company trailers for highway transport.
NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.