Negligent Cargo Loading and Devastating Collisions
The most common reason for collisions involving large commercial trucks is driver negligence. However, other parties can be responsible for causing a truck driver to lose control of a truck. For example, mistakes made during the cargo loading process can cause many problems for drivers and often lead to devastating collisions. To be sure, improperly loaded cargo, whether overloaded or unsecured, may be the cause of a serious truck accident.
Trucks have weight limits for several different safety reasons and trucks should never be unlawfully loaded to exceed the weight limit. Overloading can:
Cause difficulty braking as quickly, which can cause a driver to try to slow down or stop too late to avoid a collision;
Cause the axles on the truck to malfunction, which can lead to tire separation or other dangerous occurrences that cause a driver to lose control; and
Result in coupling failure, which can cause separation of the trailer from the cab of the truck or can lead to jackknife accidents in which the trailer swings perpendicular to the truck and the road.
All of the above can cause significant damage to other vehicles as well as injuries to other motorists.
If cargo is not properly secured inside of a trailer, it can shift on curves, turns, or even lane changes. When cargo significantly shifts, it can throw a trailer off balance and cause it to jackknife, sway into neighboring lanes, or tip over. This can understandably cause severe injuries to any motorists around the trailer.
Underloading a trailer most often refers to liquid cargo. When a tanker trailer is only partially filled with gasoline or other liquids, the liquid can slosh around on turns and can throw the tank off balance. This can lead to jackknife accidents or a tank rolling off the trailer wheels. When toxic or flammable chemicals spill onto the road, it can cause fires, explosions, or dangerous exposure for anyone around.
Who is Responsible?
Cases arising from accidents caused by cargo loading errors can be complicated because many different parties may be responsible for properly loading cargo onto a trailer. In some situations, it may be the company that owns the goods that are sent for transport that hires individuals to load the cargo. In other circumstances, a trucking company may have their own cargo loaders that may even include the truck driver. Determining who is responsible can require investigation and resources.
Call to Discuss Your Case Today
If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, you should discuss a possible legal claim with an experienced Appleton truck accident attorney or a Green Bay truck accident lawyer as soon as you can. At the Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd., our skilled personal injury attorneys have extensive experience handling truck accident cases and know how to thoroughly investigate your accident and build a successful claim. Our offices are located in Appleton, Green Bay, New London and Oshkosh. Call us today to discuss your situation for free at 920-739-7366.