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What to Do When a Truck’s Cargo Caused an Accident

By Butler Prather LLP on May 10, 2021

When you are on the roadway traveling next to a large commercial truck, the last thing you need to worry about is cargo flying off and causing an accident. Unfortunately, these incidents do occur. The challenging part of these accidents comes with determining liability. Who is responsible for an accident caused by unsecured cargo? It is incredibly important for any person who sustained injuries or property damage in these types of incidents to recover the compensation they are entitled to.

How do These Accidents Occur?

There are various ways that accidents can occur due to unsecured cargo in the back of a truck on a Georgia roadway. Some of the types of cargo that regularly fall off of trucks and cause accidents and injuries include the following:

  • Lumber
  • Yard debris
  • Scrap metal
  • Construction materials
  • Furniture
  • Gravel
  • Landscaping equipment
  • Appliances

The reality is that any type of cargo can come off the back of the truck if the driver or trucking company was careless or negligent in their actions. Truck companies and drivers are responsible for ensuring that the cargo is balanced properly before tying it down. They are also responsible for using the appropriate tie-downs, straps, and other securing methods. All truck doors should closed and fully latched (if applicable), and the drivers should check the load throughout the trip to make sure that it stays secured.

In the aftermath of any accident involving a commercial truck or unsecured cargo, those involved must take immediate steps to ensure their well-being. This includes:

  • Seeking medical care from a qualified medical professional as soon as possible.
  • Gathering as much evidence as possible, including eyewitness statements and photographs of the debris, the truck, and any damage caused by the debris.
  • Contacting a skilled lawyer who can get involved and obtain additional evidence, handle communication with the company and their insurance carriers, and negotiate on behalf of the injury victim.

Any person involved in an unsecured load accident needs to be very cautious about what they say to their own insurance carrier or the insurance carrier of the trucking company. Any conversations with insurance carriers should be routed through an attorney to ensure that nothing is said that could jeopardize the total compensation paid for a claim.

Who Will be Liable in These Situations?

What we will find in the aftermath of an unsecured load accident is that the truck company would likely be held responsible for the incident. Even in situations where the careless or negligent actions of the truck driver caused the unsecured load accident, liability will likely fall to the company if the driver was acting within the scope of their job-related duties when the incident occurred.

However, determining liability can become tricky if there are other parties involved with securing the load on the back of the trailer. In many cases, the company responsible for providing the actual truck will not be the same as the company that supplies the trailer and secures the load. In these cases, there may be multiple liable parties, and an attorney will have to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the ultimate responsibility for the incident. In addition to the evidence gathered at the scene of the crash, an attorney may need to obtain additional evidence to ensure their client receives full compensation. This can include the records of the truck company and the company responsible for securing the cargo, video surveillance of loading procedures, and more.

Posted in: Truck Accidents

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