As the backbone of the US economy, trucking transports consumer goods, construction materials, medical supplies, vehicles, and many other essential products we use at both home and work. As reported by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), approximately 16,500 crashes involving 18-wheelers, semis, and other large commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) occur annually in South Florida. Because loaded trucks are often large and heavy, accidents involving these vehicles oftentimes bring about severe injuries or death.
Common reasons for trucking accidents are speeding, texting, and erratic lane changes. A factor not often considered is improper cargo loading of a CMV which caused a traffic crash. A Southwest Florida truck accident caused by improper cargo loading should be discussed with an attorney.
Multiple Parties to Pursue
A traffic collision claim is generally based on the negligence theory of liability, which requires you to establish that the at-fault party was negligent in exercising reasonable care at the time of the collision. In most cases, a victim would pursue the driver who was responsible for the accident. If the cargo of a truck is improperly loaded, there are other parties at fault for an accident, in addition to the driver, including:
- Careless packaging by a manufacturer.
- An organization that negligently stored boxes, crates, or pallets.
- A trucking company that failed to train its drivers on how to inspect loads during transit.
- An organization which failed to use webbing, steel straps, and fasteners to secure the load in accordance with federal regulations.
Challenges Determining Fault
The more potentially responsible parties for an accident, the more complicated a personal injury claim will become. In these situations, oftentimes all of the potentially at fault parties will simply point fingers at each other. However, the majority of people will blame the driver for causing the accident. They will claim the load would have remained secure had the truck operator not been speeding, taking curves too quickly, or making erratic maneuvers. As a result of these maneuvers, properly loaded cargo can shift, making the situation more hazardous when the materials are not secured.
Complications With Improperly Loaded Hazardous Substances
The principal concerns with unsecured cargo are items falling off and shifting of the load, which may result in a truck driver losing control. The risks are increased when the truck hauls hazardous materials, which are commonly liquid in nature. Explosions, fires, and burn injuries may occur in vehicles when flammable or unstable substances ignite.
GTS Accident Lawyers are Prepared for YOU
Learn how our experienced, Southwest Florida personal injury lawyers at Goldman, Tiseo, and Sturges, P.A. can help you recover compensation during a FREE consultation by dialing (941) 625-6666.