LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Keith Curtin Purdue | Mar 2, 2011

Truck Accidents Due to Falling Cargo or Load-Shifting

Commercial trucking is an integral part of the American way of life, providing for all of us the goods and services that we both need and desire. However, with thousands of 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and big rigs on every major highway, interstate, and road throughout the county, injury accidents and fatal accidents are sadly just a matter of time. When these types of commercial trucking accidents occur due to falling cargo, an injured victim or a bereaved family of a killed victim may wonder who's ultimately responsible for the accident. Is it the truck driver or the trucking company? Is it the company that secured the cargo? Is it a safety device manufacturer? Is it a reckless driver in a passenger vehicle? An aggrieved party may also want to know what their legal options are if they've been involved in a falling cargo 18-wheeler wreck. The following short article provides a few answers to these questions.

Falling cargo accidents can often be challenging to investigate. For example, if a flatbed-trailer loses a piece of construction piping that, hours later, causes a car to have a wreck resulting in the death of the driver, how can the truck driver be found? Furthermore, even if the truck driver is found, is it always the fault of a truck driver when cargo falls from their big rig? These seemingly challenging questions can often be answered through the work of an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney. Through a thorough investigation, a knowledgeable semi-truck accident lawyer will likely be able to determine what truck was liable for the accident, and whether or not the trucking company or another company may bear fault for the accident. For example, surveillance video or eyewitness testimony can often assist an investigation in determining what truck cargo may have fallen from, resulting in an accident.

Through further inquiry, it can also be assessed as to who the liable party was for such an accident. In some instances, a trucking company may utilize the services of another company in order to load and secure their cargo. If this outside company was negligent in their duties, and it can be shown that such negligence was a contributing factor to the falling truck cargo accident, then the outside company would bear liability for the accident. However, if a truck driver was also driving recklessly when a load shifted and fell, the truck driver and their employer could also be held liable. Furthermore, if a safety strap or other safety device fails to work properly, a product manufacturer may be held liable. In some instances, multiple issues may have played a role in which multiple parties could be held liable through a civil lawsuit. It is often not until an exhaustive investigation has been made into an accident that all liable parties can be discovered.

If you have suffered an injury or have lost a loved one due to a falling cargo accident, consider contacting an experienced trucking accident attorney to learn more about your legal options. You likely have merit in seeking legal action through a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit that can assist you in recuperating the financial losses you've accrued due to the fallen cargo wreck. Additionally, seeking such legal action works to hold liable parties accountable for their negligent behavior so that their continued behavior does not have to adversely affect another person or family.

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