Trucking is the lifeblood of the US economy, transporting the consumer goods, construction materials, medical supplies, vehicles, and many other essential products we rely on for home and work. Like any other vehicle sharing the road, large trucks are involved in their fair share of accidents. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reports that, in South Florida alone, there are almost 16,500 crashes annually that include an 18-wheeler, semi, or other large commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Dozens of individuals are killed, while another 3,300 suffer injuries that carry extreme physical, emotional, and financial losses.
There are many different factors that people commonly point to when determining causes of truck crashes, such as speeding, texting, or erratic lane changes. However, one issue you might not consider is how the CMV cargo could play a role in a collision. You should talk to an attorney about Miami truck accidents caused by improper cargo loading, especially since the complications could impact your rights.
Multiple Parties to Pursue
Traffic crash claims are based upon the negligence theory of liability, which requires you to prove that the at-fault party caused the collision through a failure to exercise reasonable care. With most incidents, a victim would pursue the motorist who failed to drive safely. When a truck’s cargo is improperly loaded, there are other parties to blame besides the truck operator, such as:
- A manufacturer that was careless in packing goods for transit;
- The warehousing company that stored boxes, crates, or pallets negligently;
- A trucking company that did not properly train its drivers on how to inspect loads during transit;
- The organization that failed to incorporate webbing, steel straps, and fasteners to secure the load in accordance with federal regulations.
Challenges Determining Fault
The fact that multiple parties may be involved in a truck accident makes the legal process complicated, since all of the entities mentioned above will be pointing fingers at each other. Most will blame the truck operator for causing the accident, alleging that the load would have remained secure had the driver not been speeding, taking curves too quickly, and making erratic lane changes. These maneuvers can make properly loaded cargo shift, so the situation is exacerbated when the materials are not secured.
Complications With Improperly Loaded Hazardous Substances
The key concerns with unsecured cargo are items falling off and shifting of the load, potentially causing the truck operator to lose control. These risks are intensified when the truck is hauling hazardous materials, often in liquid form. Flammable and unstable substances can ignite, causing explosions, fires, and burn injuries to those in nearby vehicles.
Our Miami Truck Accidents Lawyers are Prepared for Challenges
If you were hurt in a truck crash due to improper loading or any other form of negligence, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA right away to set up a free case evaluation. You can call our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, FL at (305) 371-6000 or go online to our firm.