It would seem that with so much at risk, all trucks would be properly loaded. This is not the case. Tens of thousands of trucks enter the roadways over-loaded, which makes them difficult to control and hard to stop. Countless trucks have loose cargo that falls off the back and poses great threat to vehicles behind. Of 333,000 truck accidents in 2012,104,000 people were injured and 3,921 were killed. Only 18 percent of these fatalities were the occupants of the large truck, meaning that large trucks pose a great risk to the occupants of smaller vehicles. Many of these deaths and fatalities were caused by improperly secured or loaded truck cargo.
What Threats Does Loose Cargo Pose to Other Road Users?
When a truck is loaded poorly, such as having too much cargo up high, its cornering ability can be compromised. As such, when it enters a curve, the top-heavy trailer may topple over. Rollovers are not one of the more common types of accidents, but when they occur, they can be devastating. Other types of dangerous cargo can be when objects or even liquids fall or spill from trailers. Flatbed trucks carrying lumber or equipment that is not properly secured can cause crashes behind them as drivers try to avoid the falling objects. Likewise, spillage from tankers can create an incredibly slick, dangerous road surface for any vehicle behind. When objects fall off flatbeds or spill from tankers, accidents can occur even hours or days later, making it very difficult to track down the negligent party.
Proving Negligence Can Be a Tricky Issue
Proving negligence is the most important step to take in any auto collision. Without doing so, no compensation can be give to the injured party. In truck crashes, it can be even more difficult because of the multiple parties involved. If the truck driver was an independent contractor, they themselves may be held liable. In the likely scenario that they are employed by a company, the trucking company may be held liable. However, if the loose cargo was the fault of the loading company or the person that loaded the truck, they may be held liable. Furthermore, if the accident occurred due to a mechanical failure, such as a logging truck’s rack system breaking, the manufacturer of the truck or truck equipment may be held liable. As you can see, there are many possible parties into which an investigation may be made: the driver, the shipping company or trucking company, the loading company or person who loaded the cargo, and the truck or truck equipment manufacturer/designer.
Contact a Kansas City, Missouri Attorney to Receive Compensation
If you or a loved one were injured during a truck collision in which loose cargo caused the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. Contact an experienced Kansas City truck accident attorney as soon as it is feasible to discuss your legal options and begin work on your claim. Call the attorneys at the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm today for a free consultation.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.