Commercial trucks haul tens of thousands of pounds in cargo. And this cargo can cause serious problems if it spills onto the road. Freight like hazardous chemicals and animals can be particularly problematic.
As such, it is crucial that everyone involved in the loading and transporting of cargo is responsible, cautious and compliant with state and federal laws. Parties that fail to do this can be liable for the considerable damages caused by a spill.
What causes cargo to spill?
There are numerous reasons why cargo spills on roadways. Causes could include:
- Driver error
- Faulty truck parts, such as brakes
- Poor road conditions
- Improperly loaded trucks
There may be no way to prevent every cargo spill. However, those that are preventable are often the result of negligence. Some examples of negligence that could result in spilled cargo include:
- Truckers who are driving while distracted, impaired or drowsy
- Truckers who do not have the necessary license or training to operate a commercial vehicle
- Trucking companies that fail to inspect the truck adequately and perform necessary maintenance and repairs
- Parties that overload the truck or fail to secure the cargo in accordance with regulations
Legal remedies may be available
When cargo spills, it can create unavoidable obstacles and strike other vehicles. Motorists can suffer catastrophic injuries under these circumstances.
Because the extent of the damage can be so significant, parties who suffer injuries or lose a loved one in an accident caused by a cargo spill should understand their legal options. Wrongful death or negligence claims can result in financial awards to compensate victims for medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress and other damages arising from a truck crash.