Traffic Accidents Caused by Unsecured Truck Cargo
Out of 333,000 total large truck accidents in 2012, there were 104,000 injuries and 3,921 fatalities. Of these fatalities, 73 percent were occupants of the other vehicle, 10 percent were non-occupants, and just 18 percent were occupants of the large truck. This data shows just how dangerous large trucks can be. Unfortunately, the number of fatalities is on the rise, with a four-percent increase from 2011. Even higher was the increase in injuries caused by large trucks, which jumped up by 18 percent from 2011 to 2012. One cause of these injuries and deaths is the improper tying down and loading of cargo.
Why Loose Cargo is a Danger
Improperly loaded or unsecured cargo makes the truck more difficult to control. Once the driver’s ability to steer is impaired, cornering, changing lanes, and even holding a straight line become more difficult. Loose cargo rolling around inside a semi can cause the truck trailer to sway from side to side and veer into adjacent lanes of traffic. Unsecured cargo also heightens the chances of a rollover, which can cause major pile ups. Stacking loads too high makes for a top-heavy load, which can cause rollovers. Cargo or lumber that isn’t properly tied down on a flatbed truck can fly off and cause other vehicles to either veer out of the way or run into the debris that has fallen. Spillage from tankers can also cause serious problems for other road users.
Who is at Fault?
Determining liability comes down to who caused the accident, or who was negligent. Negligence can be thought of as who took irresponsible measures that resulted in the crash. If excessive speed was the cause of the accident, the truck driver would be negligent and therefore be liable. If the accident occurred due to improper loading or tying down of cargo, not only would the truck driver possibly be liable but the truck company, cargo loader, cargo shipper, and anyone else that has ties with the shipping company, cargo loading company, or truck company may be held liable.
Damages Owed to You
The amount of damages you receive depends on how severely you were injured and the other circumstances regarding the truck accident. You may be entitled to restitution for you medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and lost wages. In some cases, you may even be entitled to punitive damages if it is determined that the liable party acted particularly egregiously in leading to the accident.
Contact an Attorney to get Started on Your Personal Injury Claim
In the state of Florida, you have up to four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. To find out if you are able to pursue a lawsuit and determine who is negligent, meet with one of our personal injury lawyers to discuss the damages and injuries you suffered from your accident caused by a large, improperly loaded truck. Gillette Law, P.A. is located in Jacksonville, Florida; give us a call now at 904-358-1304.