When most people think of truck accidents, they imagine a horrific scene of a huge tractor-trailer having slammed into a much smaller passenger vehicle. But the truth is that a truck does not even have to actually hit another vehicle in order for a truck crash to occur. If a truck is carrying a load that has not been secured properly or if the load is over the legal weight limit, the danger to other motorists can be deadly.
Far too often, trucking companies cut corners in order to move product quickly and put profits over safety. Not only does this apply to hiring truck drivers who may not be qualified or have poor driving records, but it also means that they are not putting the time and funds into maintaining their fleets, securing loads, or putting too much product on a truck even though it violated federal regulations. According to national statistics, about 25,000 truck accidents happen every year because of overloaded or unsecured loads on commercial trucks.
An overloaded truck can happen because the trucking company intentionally overloads it or because their employees have not been properly trained in how to properly load cargo. This can include failing to tie down large items, such as construction equipment, or filling a cargo compartment too much.
When cargo falls off the truck and onto the road, this can cause other vehicle drivers to have to suddenly swerve to avoid hitting the cargo. Unfortunately, this swerving is often into other vehicles or objects. Other incidents involve the cargo falling directly onto a passenger vehicle, seriously harming occupants.
There are also incidents where the truck driver maneuvers the truck in such a way that it causes the cargo to shift or fall off the truck completely, for example, if a truck driver takes a turn too quickly. Other ways truck driver can contribute to these types of accidents include:
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and or drugs
Even if the accident is the fault of the truck driver, the trucking company can still be held liable under Virginia law for any losses that victims suffer because of their injuries.
Contact Our Firm Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident caused by an overloaded truck or by falling cargo, contact a seasoned Virginia truck accident attorney. Truck accidents can be more complex than other types of motor vehicle accidents because there may be multiple parties who are liable for a victim’s injuries. In these types of accidents, not only could the trucking company and driver be liable, but the freight company that loaded the truck could also be responsible for damages. Victims can be awarded compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, and more.
The legal team at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn has successfully represented many clients who were injured in truck accidents and will use all available resources to aggressively advocate for you and your family in obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.