When truck cargo is not properly secured, it becomes a safety hazard to everyone driving on the road. No matter what kind of cargo a truck is hauling, it should be secured so that it cannot fall from the truck or shift and cause the vehicle to become unstable.
Unfortunately, the negligent actions of the trucking company and its driver or others involved in the loading of cargo can result in loads being improperly secured. If these loads break loose while the truck is on the road, they can cause accidents and serious injuries to drivers. Improperly loaded cargo can also cause a truck to become unstable and crash, which can cause catastrophic injuries as well.
Objects falling off trucks is common in Atlanta, across Georgia, and throughout the United States. According to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, debris on roads in the U.S. caused over 200,000 crashes resulting in approximately 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths during a three-year period. The AAA study reported that the majority of debris-related crashes happen in the middle of the day, and about two-thirds of the crashes are the result of items falling from a vehicle due to unsecured loads and improper maintenance.
If you were injured by an object that fell from a truck or another crash caused by unsecured cargo, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Unsecured cargo truck accident cases can be very complex, so don’t fight this alone. Contact the Atlanta truck accident lawyers at The Champion Firm today for help.
Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys is prepared to help you every step of the way. Contact us today to a schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Something Fell Off A Truck and Hit My Car – Now What?
If you were injured by unsecured cargo on a truck, you may be entitled to hold the at-fault parties financially responsible through a personal injury claim. Our Atlanta unsecured load attorneys can help you bring an injury claim for any type of cargo that was improperly secured and caused your injury, including:
- Scrap metal
- Construction materials
- Landscaping equipment
After the accident, seek medical attention, gather contact information from the other driver and any witnesses, take photos of the accident scene, and refuse to speak with insurance company representatives. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible so that they can get started investigating the accident.
Proving Liability for a Fallen Object
Truck drivers are the primary at-fault party for many fallen cargo claims. It is the truck driver’s responsibility to make sure that every aspect of the truck was safe prior to the trip, including that cargo would not become a potential hazard while in transit.
In many cases, the fault for a truck accident caused by loose cargo lies with the individual responsible for securing the freight. In some cases, this may be an individual other than the driver of the truck.
Sometimes trucking companies will recognize that they do not have the proper equipment and manpower available to keep cargo secure. Because of this, they will outsource the cargo loading to companies with the resources to secure and tie large loads. If the loading company fails to do a competent job, the company could make it more likely for heavy objects and dangerous cargo to fall out of a truck. While the trucking company may still bear some responsibility for the accident, the loading company could be held at least partially liable.
The reality is that whenever an accident involves an object falling from a truck, the process of determining liability can be very complicated. Commercial truck insurance companies will often attempt to shift blame for the accident onto other drivers, defects in the road, or other groups involved with the cargo.
These tactics complicate loose cargo accident cases. This is one of the many reasons you need an experienced truck accident attorney to review your case and pursue compensation from all responsible parties.
Truck Crashes Caused by Improperly Loaded Cargo
At The Champion Firm in Atlanta, we have investigated a range of truck accidents involving unsecured loads. While no truck accident cases are exactly the same, there are common types of unsecured truck cargo accidents, including:
- Spilled cargo
- Shifting cargo
- Improperly secured cargo
- Overweight load
- Cargo that fell off and broke through the windshield of a vehicle behind the truck
An accident caused by an unsecured load is often the result of the truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, including a failure to:
- Ensure the cargo is balanced before tying it down
- Use the appropriate straps, tie-downs, and other proper methods of securing cargo
- Avoid using tie-downs and straps that are defective or worn out
- Make sure the trailer isn’t overloaded
- Close and fully latch the truck doors
- Check the load throughout the trip to make sure it stays secured
Our lawyers can investigate your accident to determine the cause and identify the liable parties.
Average Settlement Amount for Truck Accidents
Settlement figures vary widely depending on different factors in your claim. In general, however, truck accident settlements can be quite substantial. This is because trucking companies are required by law to carry a higher minimum amount of insurance coverage than regular drivers, ranging between $300,000 and $5,000,000, depending on the type of cargo being hauled.
This means that more money may be available for you to recover. The amount you ultimately receive will depend on who was liable, the severity of your injuries, the extent of your losses, whether anyone passed away in the crash, and more.
How Can The Champion Firm Help Me?
Atlanta personal injury attorney Darl Champion, founder of The Champion Firm, has helped obtain millions of dollars in recoveries for truck accident victims throughout the state of Georgia. The National Trial Lawyers organization selected Champion as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer in Georgia and a Top 40 Under 40. In addition, Georgia Super Lawyers has recognized him numerous times as a Rising Star, an honor given to the top 2.5% of Georgia lawyers under age 40 or those in practice for 10 years or less.
If you have suffered an accident caused by unsecured truck cargo, our experienced Atlanta truck accident attorneys can accurately estimate the full costs of the accident and offer the legal advice you need to put the accident behind you. Contact The Champion Firm if you or a loved one was involved in unsecured truck cargo accident in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia. Call us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.