Cargo Loading Accidents
When cargo is not properly loaded onto a truck, an accident and injuries may result. The accident may happen right away, such as when cargo falls on a bystander, or when other trucks are in the area and back into the truck being loaded. However, it can also happen on the road when the cargo threatens the safety of others because it is not adequately secured and falls off the truck into traffic, injuring pedestrians or people in passenger vehicles. Improperly loaded cargo could also cause injuries while it is being unloaded. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a cargo loading accident, you should consult the Miami truck accident attorneys at our Law Offices of Robert Dixon.Cargo Loading Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries
Cargo can threaten others’ safety if it is improperly loaded or secured. When cargo is loose, it may fall off the truck and onto nearby cars and pedestrians. However, if cargo is overloaded or improperly loaded, it can also cause the truck to roll over and hit other vehicles.
There are numerous rules promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to make sure that cargo is properly loaded and secured on interstate trucks. Florida has adopted these rules for trucks driving within Florida.
The regulations specify a minimum number of tie-downs to limit the movement of cargo inside the truck, requirements for moving certain kinds of cargo such as logs, and working load limits based on the truck's weight.
If you are injured in a cargo loading accident, your injury lawyer may be able to pursue compensation under a theory of negligence. Negligence often arises as a result of someone's failure to use reasonable care. Violations of the FMCSA regulations may constitute strong evidence of negligence. That means that you would need to show that the defendant owed you a duty of reasonable care, the defendant breached the duty of reasonable care, and you were injured as a result. For example, if the defendant is a third-party loader and failed to use proper tie-downs, such that the cargo fell out of the truck and crushed a pedestrian, you would likely be able to show negligence. For another example, if the defendant is an interstate truck driver who failed to adhere to FMCSA regulations regarding weight, such that the truck was overloaded and jackknifed, you may be able to show negligence.
It can be important to examine the accident closely to determine all of the parties that were at fault. There may be negligence by a truck driver, a third-party loader, a trucking company, or others. The facts will dictate the appropriate strategy to pursue compensation. For example, a trucking company may hire a third-party loader to load the truck, while a truck driver may be asked to inspect it periodically. All three parties may bear some responsibility for a cargo loading accident, and it is important to do an investigation to determine which parties failed to meet their duty to use reasonable care in loading and securing the cargo, or inspecting the load later.
Sometimes evidence goes missing in truck accident cases. When evidence in a pending or ongoing lawsuit is lost, altered, or destroyed, there may have been spoliation of evidence. A trucking company or other party that intentionally destroys or alters evidence can be sanctioned. It is crucial to retain an attorney who will immediately send a spoliation of evidence letter to the trucking company to make sure that they have notice of the lawsuit and know not to destroy evidence, and who can aggressively pursue parties that refuse to turn over vital evidence.
If you can establish liability for a cargo loading accident in which you were injured or a loved one was killed, you may be able to recover a wide range of damages, including economic and noneconomic damages, such as past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.Hire a Knowledgeable Truck Accident Lawyer in Miami
If you are injured in a cargo loading accident, you should consult the experienced attorneys at our Law Offices of Robert Dixon. We represent people throughout Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and other areas of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. Contact us at (877) 499-4878 or through our online form.