Commercial trucks like tractor-trailers haul goods around the country and even into small towns like Glens Falls. These trucks work best when the cargo in the trailer is properly secured. Sadly, unbalanced cargo makes tractor-trailers dangerous to drive, and innocent motorists could suffer horrifying injuries in a jackknife or rollover collision.
If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, contactLarson & Gallivan Law today. Unbalanced cargo could be to blame for the collision. We can review your medical records and memories and, if hired, build up the evidentiary basis for your personal injury claim.
Trucks Should Not be Overloaded
Although trailers are very large, they can’t hold too much cargo. When the trailer is overweight, the truck becomes unmanageable. For example, steering is much more difficult, so the trucker can’t avoid other vehicles as easily. The truck probably takes much longer to come to a full stop.
The risk of rollover accidents increases as well. In this type of crash, the trailer falls onto its side—and onto anyone in the adjoining lane.
Cargo Should be Balanced
The cargo should be properly distributed in the trailer, which helps maintain the tractor-trailer’s balance. When cargo is imbalanced, then the truck is harder to control and we have seen many jackknife accidents, where the trailer will swing out at an angle and strike vehicles.
Cargo Must Be Properly Secured
One major reason cargo gets unbalanced is that it is not properly secured when loaded. Contents can shift as the vehicle is in motion, especially around corners, which is why cargo should be tied down with straps, cords, or chains. Unsecured cargo is also at risk of spilling out the back of the trailer and hitting vehicles.
Identifying Who is At Fault for Your Accident
It isn’t always obvious who is responsible for improperly loaded cargo accidents. Some possible defendants include:
- The truck loader. The people loading the cargo bear responsibility if they did not properly secure the cargo or if they made the decision to overload the trailer.
- The trucker. A truck driver could be liable for failing to check that the cargo is secure before starting a trip. Truckers can also make things worse by how they drive. They might lack training in how to drive with heavy cargo, so they attempt sharp turns, which can contribute to a crash.
- The trucking company. The trucker’s employer might have liability for failure to train or supervise its drivers. They might also have made the decision to overload the truck in the first place, or they used outdated and dangerous equipment.
- An equipment manufacturer. Some of the equipment to secure the cargo could have been faulty or defective. For example, ties could snap due to defective design or materials, which would be the responsibility of the manufacturer.
The above are the most common defendants in this type of case. We don’t expect truck accident victims to know who is to blame. After a crash, you are probably in intense pain and need medical attention. You don’t have the time or knowledge to perform an in-depth investigation. That’s why a lawyer is a big help. The legal team at Larson & Gallivan Law can inspect the truck which hit you if you reach out to us in a timely manner.
Evidence in a Truck Accident
We look for certain pieces of evidence to recreate what happened. The following is very helpful evidence for truck accident cases:
- Cargo records
- Bills of lading
- Black box data
- Trucker logs
- Inspection of cargo and equipment
Armed with this evidence, we will identify the nature and weight of the cargo on the truck when it got into an accident. We can also piece together evidence of how the accident unfolded.
We sometimes work with engineers or accident reconstruction experts to visualize how the accident unfolded. This type of evidence is helpful when negotiating with trucking companies or their insurers. They usually try to minimize their degree of fault, so the more evidence we have the better.
Call Our Glens Falls Truck Accident Attorney Today
Cargo-related accidents often leave victims with difficult injuries, including brain injury, organ damage, and paralysis. At this moment, you need a seasoned lawyer to look out for your best interests and negotiate a settlement for you. With the right legal team, it is possible to seek compensation for medical care, lost wages and benefits, as well as pain and suffering.
Call us today at 518-862-8799 or send us anonline message. We offer free consultations to truck accident victims.