While rollovers and head-on collisions are common among truck accidents, loose cargo is another threat drivers must work to prevent and avoid. This loose cargo is a type of debris that falls off a flatbed truck or out of an open trailer door right into oncoming traffic. People are injured and killed by loose cargo every single year.
If you are suffering due to a truck driver’s negligence, call Cellino Law today. No one should have to suffer just because someone else failed to do his or her job safely and correctly. We have been handling Buffalo, NY, loose cargo truck accident cases for over 60 years, and our team of experienced attorneys is standing by 24/7 to take your call.
For your free consultation, you can schedule with us by dialing (800) 555-5555. There is no fee unless you win.
Loose Cargo Truck Accident Statistics
According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 200,000 accidents are caused each year by road debris. Around two-thirds of that debris is caused by a lack of care when securing loads and improper maintenance. Meanwhile, 37 percent of all debris-related accident deaths are due to drivers swerving to avoid hitting debris; they end up overcorrecting, ultimately losing control of the vehicle.
While some of these numbers are attributed to average motorists, tractor-trailers can pose an increased risk. The cargo carried by commercial vehicles can weigh thousands of pounds. If a pallet of goods breaks loose while traveling at high speeds down the interstate, the outcome can be disastrous.
What Are the Regulations for Truck Cargo?
The FMCSA heavily regulates how the trucking company must handle its cargo to protect other motorists. Commercial drivers have the responsibility to make sure their trailers are loaded securely. There are even additional regulations that are implemented for various types of loads. For example, wood is secured in a different way than metal.
The standards issued by the FMCSA were created after strenuous testing. Every truck driver must always have a guide on hand which describes how to secure cargo properly, depending on the load, because drivers must ensure that shippers do not overload the trucks. Most truck stops have a scale that drivers can use to make sure their trailers are not overweight.
When regulations are followed, there is no reason for anyone to be injured by improperly loaded or overloaded trucks.
What Causes Cargo-Related Truck Accidents?
Strapping down cargo might seem simple enough, but it can be a difficult task. Even commercial drivers can underestimate the amount of restraint that is needed to secure heavy items. Even when a driver is doing his or her utmost to avoid a problem, a bumpy ride or unexpected turn can loosen or break a strap. Please note the following causes of cargo-related truck accidents.
Loading cargo onto a large trailer requires even distribution. If not, there can be serious consequences. Too much weight on any side can make it more difficult for a truck to turn or break quickly. These external forces can cause the cargo to shift to one side, causing it to jackknife or roll over.
While most states have laws against overloading trucks, many companies will load as much as they can onto a trailer. The more they can send on any given load, the less they must pay for shipping costs. This can be a nightmare for drivers passing through weigh stations on the interstate. And goods that are stacked too high can fall, especially when loaded on a flatbed.
Truckers use all types of equipment to secure their loads onto trailers. This includes straps, tie-downs, and webbing. Sometimes this equipment will fail and break, especially when used improperly.
What Types of Injuries Are Caused by Loose Cargo Truck Accidents?
All commercial drivers have a responsibility to ensure that their loads are secure and ready for travel. If they have loaded their trailers unevenly or a trailer is overloaded, it can cause a collision. Cargo can break loose and fly through the air at a high rate of speed. Even smaller pieces of cargo can cause catastrophic damage and injuries.
The types of injuries caused by loose cargo can include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Chemical burns
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Crushing injuries
- Loss of limbs
What Should You Do After Your Cargo-Related Accident?
Being involved in an automobile collision can be scary and life-altering. If you were injured in that accident, you deserve compensation. The next steps you take can help you win your case should you decide to file a claim against the responsible party.
Step 1: Call 911
This may seem obvious, but whether you are injured or not, call 911 right away. You will need law enforcement and medical professionals on the scene. If you are severely injured, you should go to the hospital. Only if you are able should you proceed with the next few steps.
Step 2: Gather information
After an accident, you may be in shock. You may not even realize your true condition for several days. That can be common with some health problems like whiplash. What’s more, your recollection of the incident may not be as clear later, so you must record and gather information as soon as you can. You should also speak to eyewitnesses on the scene and get their contact information if you are able.
Step 3: Take photographs
If your phone is undamaged, take photos of the crash site. Include the damage to both vehicles. Get shots of potential evidence, such as skid marks on the road. It is especially crucial to document the piece of debris that hit you or caused your accident, as well as the truck it fell from.
Step 4: Get checked out medically
Even if you feel fine, it is best not to refuse a trip to the hospital. Again, there may be hidden injuries you are not yet aware of. It will be impossible to gain compensation without proper documentation of your injuries, and it is best to have medical records dating back to the day of your accident.
Step 5: Contact your insurance company
New York is a no-fault state. That means if you are injured in an accident, your own insurance company will be paying for the damages. You can only go after the negligent party if your injuries were severe enough to qualify for more money.
Step 6: Call Cellino Law
Suing a negligent party in New York is not an easy process by any means. You will need a knowledgeable personal injury attorney on your side – one who has experience handling these types of cases. Trucking companies are not likely to go along with your side of the story.
It takes proof of negligence with concrete evidence to win your case. This may seem daunting, but the attorneys of Cellino Law will be able to guide you through the process.
Who is the Responsible Party in Loose Cargo Truck Accidents?
If you are injured by a piece of cargo dislodging from a truck, there may be multiple parties responsible for the resulting collision. Those who may be held liable include the:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Shipping company
- Equipment manufacturers
These types of cases can be complex, but a Buffalo, NY, loose cargo truck mishap lawyer can help you by investigating the accident, preparing your claim, and negotiating a fair settlement. If the insurance company refuses the offer, your attorney can take the case to court.
Over the years, Cellino Law has helped clients win over $2 billion in damages. Read our client testimonials to find out what working with us is like, and please reach out to us to find out more. Our representatives are standing by waiting for your call.
You can reach us at (800) 555-5555 for a free case evaluation. There is no fee charged for our legal services unless and until you get your compensation.
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