Truck Cargo Spill Accidents
Though all commercial truck accidents can be dangerous and can cause serious injuries, the accidents may be significantly worse if the cargo of the truck spills out as a result of the collision. This is a common occurrence, however, and it often complicates matters as the party responsible for the initial accident may or may not be the same party responsible for the cargo spill. The following is some additional information regarding cargo spill truck accidents.
Cargo spills can be particularly dangerous if a truck is carrying any kind of toxic or dangerous cargo. For example, if a truck is transporting thousands of gallons of gasoline that then spill onto the highway, the gasoline could easily ignite and lead to a fire or explosions, which can cause significantly more injuries than would have otherwise occurred. Additionally, if toxic or corrosive chemicals spill from a truck, anyone who is near the accident scene may be at risk for dangerous injuries. Commercial trucks also often transport animals, motor vehicles, and other items that could wreak havoc on the surrounding area if they came loose from the truck onto the road.
Flat-bed trucks are often the most prone to cargo spills because of the open nature of the trailer. To make matters worse, flat-bed trucks generally transport very heavy and large cargo that can cause substantial damage should it fall off a trailer. For example, if a flat-bed truck is carrying huge pieces of lumber and gets into a collision, the lumber could all roll off the truck onto the highway. The lumber could not only hit cars as it fell but also cause more vehicles to collide.
Cargo loading errors
In many situations, cargo spills occur because the individuals responsible for loading the cargo into the trailer did so in a negligent manner. Many types of cargo have very specific ways they need to be loaded into a truck and, if they are loaded improperly, it could result in the trailer jackknifing1 or rolling over. These are the two main types of collisions in which cargo tends to spill out of the trailer, therefore, attention in a cargo spill accident often turns toward the cargo loaders.
There are different ways in which a cargo loaders can be negligent that may lead to accidents and cargo spills, including the following:
– Failing to properly secure the cargo,2 which can result in cargo shifting around during the trip, especially on turns. When cargo shifts suddenly, it could throw the trailer off balance and cause the driver to lose control.
– Overloading the truck, which can make the truck heavier than the weight limit set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)3 for that particular kind of truck and trailer. This can make it more difficult for the truck to slow down or stop or can even cause the axles of the truck to malfunction.
– Underloading cargo, which generally only applies to liquid cargo. If gasoline, water, or other liquid cargo is not properly filled in the tank, it can slosh back and forth inside the tanker trailer. This can easily cause the tanker to sway, jackknife, or roll and can lead to loss of control of the truck and cargo spills.
Cargo loading is, of course only one form of negligence that can lead to a cargo spill and serious injuries. Driver error, improper inspection and maintenance, negligent acts by the trucking company, road hazards, and more can all lead to cargo spills and resulting damage and injuries.
Contact an experienced truck accident attorney in Clearwater, Florida for a free consultation today
Damage in truck accidents can occur due to many different factors, including chain reactions, cargo spills, and more. You always want to seek the assistance of a truck accident lawyer who knows how to identify negligence in complicated truck accidents and hold any possible negligent parties liable for your injuries and losses. At the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, we are committed to helping injured truck accident victims receive the maximum amount of compensation possible. We offer free consultations, so please do not hesitate to call Matthew Dolman and his qualified team of lawyers at 727-451-6900 for help today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756