Big trucks haul heavy loads across American highways every day. These commercial vehicles carry everything from cars to construction materials to toxic chemicals. The load on those big rigs can turn into a deadly obstacle in the road if they are not appropriately secured.
All drivers should know the potential dangers related to fallen debris or lost loads from tractor-trailers. State and federal agencies have enacted strict rules to make sure that all commercial cargo is tightly secured.
Truckers have chains, braces, winches, friction mats, and other tools to keep their cargo tied down. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains detailed information on its website about securing cargo on commercial vehicles.
But hundreds of drivers each year suffer severe injuries when debris or a load falls off a truck. These incidents can cause everything from a cracked windshield and minor injuries to a crushed vehicle and death.
If you suffered injuries from debris or lost load from a big truck, you might want to consult with a skilled personal injury lawyer about your case. You could be entitled to compensation.
Kinds of Cargo That Lead to Truck Accidents
Big rigs spill many types of dangerous cargo the roads that can cause a major accident:
- Cement or concrete
- Metal construction beams
- Natural gas
- Crude oil
- Solid waste
- Toxic chemicals
One would think the trucking company would ensure such dangerous cargo is secured. But tragic accidents happen involving lost loads every day.
Causes of Falling Truck Debris
The most significant reason for these accidents is failing to secure the load properly. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance performs millions of tractor-trailer inspections each year and finds these are the most significant cargo violations:
- The securement system is damaged
- Tie-downs are loose or unfastened
- Inadequate securement of industrial equipment
- Improper securement of the rear of the container
- Not meeting tie-down requirements required by federal regulations
Even if a car driver maintains a safe 200-foot distance from the truck, the driver may be unable to avoid a bad collision at high speed.
Sometimes, truckload spills are caused by truck driver negligence, such as aggressive driving, speeding, distracted driving, or driver fatigue. If the truck driver is negligent, the injured driver may be entitled to compensation.
Filing a Lawsuit for Flying Debris
Under state and federal law, commercial vehicles must have cargo securely tied down to avoid debris from shifting, dropping, or slipping from the truck bed. If the load is gravel, dirt, or stone, these materials must be covered and tied down, as well.
If the truck driver or trucking company does not follow these rules, and an accident happens, the injured driver may file a road debris insurance claim to obtain compensation.
The Consequences of Road Debris Damage
If a truck’s cargo is improperly secured, it can fly off the back of the truck bed, leading to a nasty crash. Other drivers may have to brake or swerve to avoid debris, or the falling products can make the road slick and lead to more damage.
Truck cargo accident victims often suffer serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and broken bones that require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. That is why hiring a personal injury attorney can be vital to getting your life back on track. You could be eligible for compensation, including the following:
- Lost earnings
- Hospital and medical costs
- Loss of earnings in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral costs in the case of wrongful death
- Loss of consortium, or intimate relationship with a partner
Please talk to a skilled personal injury attorney today about your accident with a truck to determine if you have a strong case.
Read Also: Line Marking 101: How to Paint Perfect Lines