The sight of an inordinate number of loose, flapping straps, the swaying from side to side of a double trailer long load, and the excessive speed of a tanker marked with signs “hazardous materials”careening down a hill all send shivers up even the most experienced driver’s spine. While passing a large truck, or getting passed by one, is most often done in a completely safe manner, the experience can still be hair raising, and rightfully so. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 10 people a day lose their lives in accidents involving large trucks. And, not at all surprising is the fact that the majority of these fatalities are non occupants of the truck (other passenger vehicles and vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians). In 2013, there were 3,906 fatal large truck collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and a total of 333,000 truck accidents the year prior. If you or a loved one were injured in a collision that was caused by the driver of a large truck truck, contact an experienced large truck accident attorney today.
Loose and Improperly Loaded Cargo
Trucks are dangerous to other road users due to their immense size and slower speeds, which causes traffic to alter its flow and sometimes even perform less than safe passes. However, when trucks are not loaded properly, another level of danger is created. For example, when a truck is overloaded, the driver has less control, the truck’s brakes will wear out quicker, especially on descents, and it takes longer for the truck to come to a stop, especially during an emergency braking situation. If a truck is loaded improperly, without proper weight distribution, or if it carrying something that it was not designed to carry, similar problems can arise. Loose cargo presents a problem, as it may move around inside the trailer and cause the driver to lose control, or, in the case of a flatbed or logging truck (or if the trailer is not closed properly), cargo may actually fall off the back of the truck and cause traffic to hit it or cause an accident trying to avoid it. The same situation arises with spilled chemicals or liquid: it poses a hazard not only because the contents are dangerous when they are exposed to people, but they may cause traffic to swerve, lose control, or lose traction when encountering the spilled substance.
Liability in Accidents Caused by Loose or Improperly Loaded Cargo
The most important step to receive compensation in any auto collision is to prove liability. This can be complicated when the accident was caused by loose or improperly loaded cargo. It is vital to find out who or what company was responsible for loading the cargo, as they will likely be the party held liable. This party could be the driver if they are in independent contractor, the trucking company, the shipping company, or various other parties. An experienced attorney is vital in an truck accident, as they are often the most complex, as well as the most heavily rewarded types of settlement cases in regards to auto collisions. If you have been injured, contact the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers of Cleveland, Ohio, today.