When you are driving behind a flat-bed truck that is carrying metal crates, lumber, or other items, do you ever feel yourself becoming slightly anxious? If so, you are not the only one. It is not uncommon for Virginia drivers to feel at least a little uneasy as they follow behind large trucks hauling open cargo.
The vast majority of cargo trucks on Virginia roadways are carrying loads that have been properly secured, but there is always a small chance that cargo could work its way loose and fall to the roadway. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident caused by falling cargo or debris from a commercial truck in Virginia, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. An experienced Virginia truck accident injury lawyer can help you take action and ensure that your rights are fully protected.
The Dangers of Loose Cargo
Federal regulations address how cargo should be secured on the back of a commercial truck. This is because cargo that is not properly secured can cause problems in a variety of ways. Of course, cargo that comes completely loose can fall off the truck and into the roadway, creating serious crash hazards for other drivers. This scenario is not particularly common, but when it does happen, the resulting injuries can be quite serious.
Cargo that is not secured properly can also shift on the bed of the truck without it falling to the roadway. As cargo shifts, so does the balance of the load, which means that the truck may handle much differently. Improperly secured cargo can shift very quickly, and a sudden attempt to overcorrect by the driver could result in a dangerous crash. In some cases, cargo that is moving around unexpectedly can cause the trailer to tip over, leading to a potentially devastating rollover wreck.
Shifting cargo can also change the way that the truck’s load is distributed across the bed—potentially overloading one or more axles. Even a single overloaded axle can cause problems with braking in the event that the driver needs to slow or stop suddenly. Any motorists that happen to be in front of a truck with an overloaded axle could be serious danger.
What Are My Options for Seeking Compensation for My Injuries?
Commercial trucks are massive, heavy vehicles, and they can cause a tremendous amount of damage and severe injuries when they are involved in crashes. Even a single piece of fallen cargo can cause devastating injuries. If you have been injured in a crash that you believe was related to unsecured or shifting truck cargo, a personal injury lawsuit could help you get the compensation you deserve.
Unfortunately, trucking accidents can be notoriously difficult, as there are often many entities that share liability. For example, the driver who checked the load might be partially responsible for the loose cargo. The warehouse team that loaded the truck might also have some liability as well. Even the company that owns and operates the truck could share liability if lax safety protocols are common throughout the company. With so many variables at play, it is imperative to work closely with a qualified personal injury attorney with experience in trucking-related accidents.
Get the Help You Need Today
When you have been hurt by falling or unsecured cargo, it is important to enlist the help of an experienced Virginia truck accident injury attorney at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp right away. Your lawyer will need to identify and preserve important evidence that might not be available if you wait to seek legal advice. Our team will do everything we can to get you the compensation you deserve, just as we did in securing a $3.5 million settlement for the family of 25-year-old man who was killed when a large truck could not stop in time to avoid hitting the man’s car. Contact our office to get the guidance you need today.