The Dangers of Poorly Loaded Truck Cargo
Almost every part of a truck can cause an accident, whether it be braking systems prone to failures, tires that can blow out, or simply the ungainly design of the truck overall. At times, however, the greatest dangers of large trucks may have little to do with the truck itself, and much more to do with what lies within. Improperly loaded truck cargo can contribute to any type of truck accident, so it’s in your best interest to learn about the risks of poorly loaded cargo.
Understanding Cargo in Truck Accidents
Securing cargo rigorously seems like common sense, but in practice, negligent loading practices are extremely common. At times, cargo-related issues may have more to do with maintenance and inspections than actual loading practices as well, such as if a frayed cargo net goes unnoticed and breaks open mid-travel. Improperly loaded cargo usually causes accidents in several ways:
- Overloading refers to the practice of loading a truck beyond its recommended weight limits, usually out of a desire to make more deliveries in a single trip. Beyond making an already heavy, slow truck even less maneuverable, this also has the added risk of making tire blowouts extremely likely.
- Imbalanced cargo tends to lead to rollover truck accidents, especially if something known as cargo shift occurs. Cargo shift suddenly repositions a truck’s center of gravity as freight tries to rebalance itself, often tipping the truck, blowing out tires on one side, or simply making the driver lose control.
- Poorly secured freight can, at times, free itself altogether from a truck’s trailer. Cargo loosed in this manner can directly strike vehicles behind the truck and maim or kill drivers, and/ or can pile up on the road as debris which causes additional auto accidents after the fact.
- Hazardous cargo needs to be transported with specialized containment methods and extreme care, as failure to do so could result in widespread fires, explosions, or toxic spills. Improper loading of hazardous cargo can not only kill those who are immediately involved in the crash but may also pose risks to emergency responders and nearby bystanders.
Liability for Cargo-Related Arizona Truck Accidents
If you’ve been hurt in a cargo-related truck accident, you’ll need to consult an Arizona truck accident attorney to determine who’s liable. In most cases, one of four parties, or some mixture thereof, are likely to be liable for the accident:
- The trucker may be liable if they loaded the truck, negligently skimmed past or skipped an inspection, or were an independent contractor.
- The trucking company is likely liable if the trucker was acting within the scope of their employment, or if the company was responsible for maintenance and loading.
- Third-party loading companies, or businesses that handle the loading of their own freight, may share liability with the trucker for negligence.
- If a mechanical failure caused the cargo-related accident and couldn’t have been caught via inspections, part manufacturers may be liable for faulty components.
The personal injury attorneys at ELG can help you secure the compensation you deserve, so give us a call at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation with our legal professionals today. We’ll make the claims process simple for you, conducting a thorough investigation while giving you the time and peace of mind you need to pursue a swift, comfortable recovery.