Accidents involving a truck and a car can result in serious injuries to the driver and passengers in the smaller vehicle. If a collision involves a cargo truck, the potential for catastrophic injuries is even greater. A crash can harm not only people in the car directly involved in the collision but also other drivers who may encounter loose cargo thrown from the truck.
If you were hurt in a collision involving a cargo truck, you may be unable to work because of your injuries. Your family may be facing a growing stack of medical bills. You may need ongoing treatment and may never be able to return to the job you had before the crash.
A Berwyn cargo truck accident lawyer can help you seek financial compensation. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm handles various types of car accident cases.
Call our office at (800) 794-0444 to learn if you have a case for compensation.
How a Cargo Truck Accident Can Happen
Cargo often weighs several tons. When a company prepares a shipment, employees need to position cargo carefully so it does not move while the truck is in motion. A sudden shift in weight may cause the driver to lose control and may lead to a rollover accident.
The combined weight of a truck and its cargo can make it difficult for the vehicle to quickly come to a stop. If a driver does not realize that traffic is backed up on a highway and does not brake soon enough, the cargo truck may collide with another vehicle, and cars may be pushed into each other in a chain reaction.
If a driver loses control of a truck, cargo can suddenly be thrust against the doors. If the force of the impact is strong enough, the doors may open, releasing cargo onto the road. Cargo may also fall out of the truck in a collision or a rollover accident that damages the vehicle’s doors.
Objects that the truck was hauling can hit cars and litter the roadway. Drivers may swerve to try to avoid being struck by flying objects and may instead collide with other vehicles. If the truck driver is unaware that cargo is falling from the vehicle and continues driving, cargo may hit multiple vehicles and scattered over a long stretch of the road.
Trucks do not always haul solid cargo. If a truck is transporting a liquid, such as oil or gasoline, and it leaks onto the road, which can create an especially dangerous situation. Liquid cargo can make the road slick, which can cause other drivers to lose control of their vehicles. If a car crashes on a road covered with a flammable substance, that can result in a fire or explosion that can endanger the lives of other motorists, as well as people who live and work nearby.
Who May Be Liable for a Cargo Truck Accident
A Berwyn cargo truck accident lawyer can investigate the circumstances that led to the crash to figure out who was liable. In some cases, multiple parties may share responsibility.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created rules on how to safely secure cargo in trucks. The workers who loaded the cargo truck may be liable for the accident if they placed containers in the truck in a way that made the vehicle off balance or that made it possible for weight to shift during the trip. If their supervisor did not monitor their activities and inspect the cargo to make sure it was loaded safely, if the company did not have cargo-loading procedures in place, or if it failed to properly train employees or enforce those procedures, the business may be found liable.
If subcontractors improperly loaded the cargo, the company they work for may be liable. If the truck made multiple stops on its journey and employees from another company unloaded cargo and loaded new cargo without securing it safely, the business they work for may be held liable for the collision.
A driver has a responsibility to make sure cargo is secured correctly, to understand how the weight of the cargo can affect the ability to handle the truck and to take precautions to avoid an accident. A driver should travel at a safe speed, slow down when making a turn and avoid braking suddenly or changing lanes quickly, since those actions could cause the truck’s cargo to shift. The driver should check to make sure the cargo is balanced and secured before beginning a trip and periodically during the journey.
If the driver failed to check the cargo, or if he or she was speeding, driving recklessly, talking or texting on a cellphone, or operating the truck while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the driver may be liable for the accident. The company he or she works for may be held financially responsible.
The business that owned the truck may be liable for the accident if it did not properly maintain the vehicle as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires. If, however, the crash occurred because a mechanic failed to repair the truck properly, or because a part was defective, then the mechanic or the part manufacturer may be liable. If a design flaw or a manufacturing defect in the truck itself caused the accident, the vehicle’s manufacturer may be held responsible.
One party may be liable for the collision, or the actions of multiple people may have contributed to the accident. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm handles complex cases involving different kinds of vehicles, including commercial trucks. We can investigate to figure out who was liable and work to hold those parties accountable.
For a free legal consultation with an cargo truck accidents lawyer serving Berwyn, call (800) 794-0444
What a Berwyn Cargo Truck Accident Lawyer May Be Able to Do for You
Our team can interview you and witnesses and review any video footage of the accident that may exist. We can review records to find out who loaded the cargo, both before the start of the trip and at stops along the way, and look at maintenance and repair records to find out if the truck was in good condition or if problems were overlooked.
Once we have figured out who was liable for the accident, we can file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Under 735 ILCS 5/13-202, the statute of limitations in Illinois gives victims of personal injuries just two years to file a lawsuit. Conducting a thorough investigation may be a time-consuming process. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner we will be able to get started. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444.