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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was driving south on I-71/I-75 on the interstate this weekend. Multiple lanes were closed for repaving.

A can of spray paint (I'm assuming for road usage) from the construction site was rolling across the two open southbound lanes.

I didn't see it until the last moment because of there was a semi ahead of me one lane over. The car in front of me suddenly swerved to miss it and the can ended up rolling under my front driver's side tire.

There was a small bump, but I didn't think much of it at the time.

I got home, and it turns out the can discharged paint down my driver's side. It's on my wheels, brakes, tires, doors, plastic parts, etc.

Can't believe the luck. 馃槀

Anyone have experience with something like this? I wasn't sure if I should involve my insurance or not. So far I'm planning to reach out to the state of KY as it appears they are running the project.

Car Vehicle Automotive lighting Tire Hood
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle Synthetic rubber
 

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Ugh! Thats a new one for me.
I seem to always find the newly tarred roads.
Good idea reaching out to KY, it cant hurt to give them a try.
I like your attitude about it. Its a crazy story and I'm sure you'll live longer laughing these things off rather than crying. Good luck.
 

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I've tried to get road crews to pay for damaged rims and tar on my truck. Easier to just try to remove it.
Try a few of the lesser dangerous products but start at car wash and see if it might just be enough wax under it to lift off.
 

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I used to work for a state DOT about 20 years ago and often handled calls like this. Some thoughts based on my experience. The marking paint used in road construction isn't like regular spray paint. It isn't as durable and is easier to remove. You may have luck getting quite a bit of it off at a car wash. Paint thinner will probably take it off pretty easily without any damage to the car's clear coat. Lacquer thinner is another option. I don't think lacquer thinner would damage the clear but may want to check on this first.

As for who is responsible, it sounds like this would be a construction job by a contractor and it was the contractor's paint, so the contractor will be responsible for the damage. If it was a state maintenance crew, the state will be responsible (doesn't sound like the case here).

You'll need to contact the local DOT office and find out who the contractor is and go after them for the damage and clean up. Explain what happened and where it was and they'll route you to the person who can give you the info.

I'm not a lawyer so this may not be entirely accurate, but it is how things were described to me when I was handling things like this. Another thing that is considered is whether or not it was a road hazard. In this case, probably not. But for example, if there is an object in the road like a damaged tire, even in a construction zone, it is a road hazard and not the contractor's fault. Another example is something falls off a truck in front of you and hits your windshield. The driver of the truck is responsible for the damage. If the object comes to rest on the road and a few minutes later someone runs over it and throws it into your car, it is a road hazard and your insurance would have to cover it. It gets kind of murky.

And of course there is insurance. Depending on your deductible you may just want to have your insurance take care of it.

If it was me and based on my experience with marking paint, assuming there is no body damage, I'd probably just try to clean it up myself. If it was something that damaged the body and required body work, I'd go after the contractor. If you try to handle it yourself, take pics first so if you don't have any luck you have something to show later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another thing that is considered is whether or not it was a road hazard. In this case, probably not. But for example, if there is an object in the road like a damaged tire, even in a construction zone, it is a road hazard and not the contractor's fault.
Yeah, I don't want to get dinged with a rate hike from my insurance especially for something that wasn't my fault.

This was a can of paint that got loose from the construction crew and was rolling across active lanes. If no cars were there, it would have rolled from the construction side all the way to the shoulder. Just bad luck/timing for me.

Thanks for the additional info. I'm going to contact the state and get a quote from detailer.
 

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Sounds like you are pretty confident it was marking paint and the contractor's fault. So that helps in all cases.

As I alluded to earlier, marking paint is designed to be temporary. So it should be pretty easy to remove. Whether by you or someone else. I really wouldn't be surprised if most if not all of it would come off at a car wash using a hand held spray wand. Where it may be harder to remove is the black plastic. It will probably stick to that much more than on the clear coat.
 

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I would send that to insurance. That's going to be a lot of detailing
I would not involve insurance if possible. It'll be considered an at-fault accident (struck object = road hazard) on your part, and the price for everything will be much higher. Under present circumstances, I would be surprised if insurance would total the car.

Many body shops, if you want to take it to one, will deal if it's a non-insurance job. They might end up quoting you close to your deductible. Will almost certainly have to replace the wheel/tire, and possibly the brake, too.

Get some quotes, then consider (if it's within their limit) a small-claims suit against the state and/or contractor.
 

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As an aside, it is interesting how each of us with different views and experience look at things like this. This is not intended to be criticism of your decision, I'm just throwing out a different viewpoint based on my life and experience. With my experience and mindset, assuming this really is marking paint, I'd rather just take care of it myself. First by going to a car wash, then some additional clean up. If it is a can of regular spray paint, then my opinion would change. And if some initial work makes it apparent this won't be easy, then I'll take back all this. So I'm hedging my bets here! 馃榿

Consider the time spent on the phone, first with the DOT. Then the contractor. Then their insurance company. Then the arguing and not wanting to take responsibility. Then finding a detailer, taking it to them, getting a quote, making sure they'll get paid, taking it back for the work, waiting on it.

Hopefully I'm wrong, by my gut feeling is there's no way the contractor will make this easy even if they are clearly at fault. But who knows, they may cough up their insurance info and it could be quick and easy. Some contractors have it together and are quick and efficient. Some are a bunch of idiots that can't find their you know what from a hole in the ground. You won't know if you don't try.

I know, there's right and wrong and they are responsible. But there's also the time and frustration. It sucks either way. Hope it goes good and best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As an aside, it is interesting how each of us with different views and experience look at things like this. This is not intended to be criticism of your decision, I'm just throwing out a different viewpoint based on my life and experience. With my experience and mindset, assuming this really is marking paint, I'd rather just take care of it myself. First by going to a car wash, then some additional clean up. If it is a can of regular spray paint, then my opinion would change. And if some initial work makes it apparent this won't be easy, then I'll take back all this. So I'm hedging my bets here! 馃榿

Consider the time spent on the phone, first with the DOT. Then the contractor. Then their insurance company. Then the arguing and not wanting to take responsibility. Then finding a detailer, taking it to them, getting a quote, making sure they'll get paid, taking it back for the work, waiting on it.

Hopefully I'm wrong, by my gut feeling is there's no way the contractor will make this easy even if they are clearly at fault. But who knows, they may cough up their insurance info and it could be quick and easy. Some contractors have it together and are quick and efficient. Some are a bunch of idiots that can't find their you know what from a hole in the ground. You won't know if you don't try.

I know, there's right and wrong and they are responsible. But there's also the time and frustration. It sucks either way. Hope it goes good and best of luck.
Yeah I may see what I can do myself... just happened yesterday so I wanted to see what a detailer might quote me. I don't want to involve insurance if possible. FWIW, it's actually worse than it appears in the picture. I do have a scrubdaddy 馃槀 maybe that'll work. I'm just thinking that a detailer will be able to get more of it off than I will.
 

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@efbolt , sorry for the small disaster. That is going to be similar to when my wife drove through fresh tar in Merced county at the direction of a road crew (or so she claims). It had dried tar all over everything in every wheel well, and sprayed up the sides of the body. Merced rejected the claim, so it was on collision to fix it.

I told my wife next time someone directs you to drive in tar, refuse.
 

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I would take it to a body shop asap, they would know what thinners to use on the paint sprayed on your car.


Keep it out of the sun, don't get up close with the car wash wand you could do more damage with the high pressure water than the paint did.

Different paints need different removals some colors will come off easy others may bite into the clear coat on your car.
The worst spots are going to be the black trim, they are unpainted the color might go right into the plastic.

They may be able to repaint the trim on this side of the car to cover the paint if it can not be removed.
 

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The problem is, you really don't know for certain the can came from the construction crew. Without the actual spray can in question, I could see them claiming they don't use such paint and it must have fell of another vehicle.
 
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The problem is, you really don't know for certain the can came from the construction crew. Without the actual spray can in question, I could see them claiming they don't use such paint and it must have fell of another vehicle.
My exact experience with asking for compensation from the county was an instant rejection. I don鈥檛 think I would have to call an attorney when Collision coverage is going to cover everything except the deductible. S happens.

And who is going to stop on a freeway to pick up a paint can? I would imagine that paint analysis would definitely peg what the paint is. But now we are paying a dollar to chase after a nickel.
 

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I ran over some fresh orange stripe paint in my black Camaro. They didn鈥檛 even have it coned or anything. Anyways, as you can guess orange all down the side. I was quick about it, within a few hours, with some rubbing compound and elbow grease. That was that.
 
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