Determining who is liable for unsecured cargo crashes can be challenging. Improperly secured or unsecured cargo in a delivery van, tractor-trailer, or other work truck can shift and cause an accident or spill onto the roadway. Other vehicles may get hit by the truck or run into cargo.
If you were hurt in an accident caused by unsecured cargo, you may want to speak with a car accident attorney to learn more about your legal options based on the details of what happened and who may be responsible. Most will provide a free consultation for victims injured in this kind of crash.
Who Can I Hold Responsible for My Unsecured Cargo Accident?
When unsecured or improperly secured freight causes an accident, it may be difficult to determine who is legally responsible. In many cases, multiple parties may be at fault, and others may be vicariously liable. Identifying these parties and holding them accountable may be challenging on your own. Working with a truck accident attorney can make this process much easier.
The liable parties could include:
Ultimately, it is up to the truck or delivery driver to ensure the freight they are hauling is loaded and secured properly. However, there are some situations where the driver may not have access to their cargo, or other circumstances prevent them from having control of how their rig is loaded.
The Workers Who Loaded the Truck
When workers load trailers or delivery vans, they should be trained to secure cargo properly. If they fail to secure it or load it improperly, the fault for a cargo-related crash may fall on them.
The Trucking Company or Another Corporation
Regardless of who loaded the cargo improperly or failed to secure it, a company will likely be vicariously liable. When a worker messes up on the job and causes an accident and injuries to others, their employer is often vicariously liable. This is because of a legal doctrine called respondeat superior. This is recognized by statute or case law in most states.
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Why Is Unsecured Cargo Dangerous?
In some cases, unsecured cargo can cause a serious accident. Truck drivers, occupants of other cars, and others on the road assume that each trailer is properly loaded and all freight is adequately secured. However, this is not always true. Shifting cargo can cause a trailer to roll over or spill on the roadway.
Other vehicles may get caught up in a crash, hit items that fell onto the street, or get hit by lost cargo as it spills. All these situations can lead to injuries, crashed cars, and other damages.
What Are the Top Causes of Unsecured Cargo Incidents?
Depending on the size and weight, unsecured or improperly secured freight can cause significant shifts in how the trucker controls the load and even the trailer’s integrity. Understanding how dangerous failing to secure cargo properly can be should push those responsible to put their utmost attention into doing their due diligence to protect themselves and others.
Some of the most common ways unsecured cargo or lost loads can occur and cause injuries include:
- Failing to secure the trailer or van doors properly
- Unbalanced heavy loads
- Broken, failing, or missing tie-downs
- Cargo that is not properly covered, such as in a dump truck
- Failure of maintenance of the truck, trailer, ties, latches, or other necessary tools
- Failing to inspect freight to ensure it is properly secured before driving
You will need to determine which of these was the cause of your unsecured cargo crash to determine who is liable for your accident and injuries. This can be difficult, but an attorney can help.
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Work With an Attorney If You Were Hurt By Unsecured Cargo
A truck accident attorney familiar with unsecured cargo crashes can investigate your crash to identify the liable parties. They will gather evidence and develop support for your insurance claim or lawsuit. They can handle this challenging case for you, letting you focus on your medical needs and healing from your injuries.
There are deadlines for taking legal action, so it is important to connect with an attorney as soon as your injuries allow. In general, the deadline for a personal injury lawsuit depends on your location. This includes:
- Alabama, two years (Ala. Code § 6-2-38)
- Arkansas, three years (Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105)
- Louisiana, one year (La. Civ. Code Art. 3492)
- Mississippi, three years (Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49)
Talk to an Attorney From Morris Bart, LLC
The Morris Bart law firm represents victims of truck crashes and other commercial vehicle accidents based on contingency fees. We have 15 locations across our four-state service area, covering all of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas. We will review your case with you for free. Call today to get started: (800) 537-8185.
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