Many laws and protocols are in place to reduce the chances of unsecured cargo related accidents. That being said, the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that unsecured cargo is one of the leading causes of debris related road accidents.
Needless to say, even with all these regulations, mishaps do still happen. If you’ve been struck by loose debris which caused an accident, you should contact a car accident lawyer in Philadel phia right away. They can help sort out your case and get you the compensation you deserve to re-cover any vehicle damage or medical expenses.
Truck Drivers and Companies Can Be Responsible For Loose Cargo
When cargo flies off the back of a commercial trailer or any other type of vehicle, an accident can occur. These vehicles are responsible for accidents caused by their falling debris, even if they don’t physically collide with another car. Furthermore, it’s possible that the trucking company can also be held responsible for improper loading or faulty equipment.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry and requires that truck drivers properly secure loads. Furthermore, they require that truck drivers and loaders are adequately trained on techniques for securing and loading cargo so they don’t move, slip, or fall off.
Ultimately, truck drivers are responsible for their cargo and for doing safety checks to ensure it is properly loaded and secured before they hit the road. Additionally, drivers have a responsibility to operate in such a way that prevents cargo from falling off their trailer and potentially causing accidents. But when drivers fail to follow these rules or do thorough and routine checks, debris can become loose and create hazardous and potentially deadly conditions.
Unlike typical car accidents where you can only pursue compensation from other drivers, in a crash involving falling cargo from a commercial vehicle, your lawyer can seek compensation from the trucking company, anyone that was involved in loading the cargo, equipment manufacturers, as well as the individual truck driver.
How to Prove Negligence in a Cargo Accident Claim
Determining negligence in these situations can be challenging and oftentimes requires a thorough investigation. Following a collision caused by falling cargo, any un-injured persons should take immediate steps to document and preserve as much evidence as possible including photos of accident related damage, the truck with its load, the loose cargo and the scene of the accident. If the trucker does not stop, write down any details you can remember including the license plate number and company name.
This evidence will help your lawyer determine negligence and who is liable for the accident. Your lawyer will need to establish 4 things in order to prove negligence:
That duty of care was breached by allowing the cargo to be in a position where it could fall off the truck.
The loose debris directly caused your accident.
Your damages and injuries were a direct result of the falling debris.
Remember, you only have 2 years to file a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania. If you don’t file within that time frame, you might lose your ability to get compensation for your accident-related expenses.
Why You Need An Experienced Lawyer For a Loose Cargo Accident Claim
Truck drivers and companies are heavily protected by corporate lawyers, unions, and regulations. It won’t be easy to build and win a case against them. Not only that, but the damage caused by falling debris can be more extensive than typical accidents depending on the type of cargo, the speed at the time of impact, and if multiple vehicles were involved.
Your chances of getting the compensation you need are much higher with an experienced lawyer on your side.