Dangerous Truck Accidents Caused By Falling Cargo
September 24, 2022
BY: Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain
A truck accident lawyer knows that one of the most intimidating things on the road is when you are driving along and suddenly a massive tractor-trailer pulls right up in the next lane beside you. Although any type of vehicle accident can cause serious injuries, truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries, usually to the occupants in the passenger vehicle, so it is understandable why many drivers get nervous driving near them.
In addition to having a commercial truck smash into a vehicle, another common cause of serious truck accidents is when cargo or debris falls off of the truck because it isn’t secured properly. Cargo on the road can cause other vehicle drivers to swerve, lose control, and crash. Multiple vehicles can also be involved, resulting in multiple victims suffering injuries.
Cargo can also fall on top of vehicles causing injuries to occupants in the vehicle. Or pieces of what the truck is transporting can fly off and hit the body or windshield of a vehicle behind or beside them.
When cargo shift inside a tractor-trailer because of improper loading, it can cause the truck to go off balance, resulting in the truck rolling over or jackknifing. Jackknifing is when the front part of the truck comes in contact with the trailer, causing the vehicle to fold in half, similar to a jackknife. Hence the name. A jackknifed or overturned accident often results in fatalities for occupants in vehicles around the truck when it rolls over or jackknifes. The massive weight and size of these vehicles, compounded by the weight of the cargo usually cause horrific crashes.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the federal agency that oversees all commercial trucking. There are stringent rules and regulations the agency has put in place that address the securing and transportation of cargo by commercial vehicles. These rules were put in place to help decrease the number of crashes caused by overloaded and improperly loaded cargo.
Some of those rules include the requirement of cargo being secured firmly by structures, such as tie-downs and wedges, which have enough strength to keep the load secure. If there are spaces between the cargo and the truck walls, then inflatable bags or other type of material must be used to fill those spaces so the cargo cannot shift during transportation.
Who Is at Fault?
When a truck accident is caused by falling or improperly loaded cargo, there may be multiple parties who could be named in a truck accident claim or a truck accident lawsuit. The truck driver and the trucking company he or she works for can both be named at-fault parties. If there was a separate freight company that loaded the cargo the truck was transporting, they could also be named as an at-fault party, as well.
Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm for Legal Assistance
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a truck accident caused by another party’s negligence, you may be able to obtain financial justice through a personal injury lawsuit. Call an experienced attorney, like an Overland Park, KS truck accident lawyer from a law firm like The Law Office of Daniel E. Stuart, P.A.