It may be possible to sue the company that owned the cargo being transported in a truck accident. Claimants must prove that the company and/or the cargo had either contributed to the crash or directly caused it.
Liability Depends on Negligence of Each Party
Truck accidents can be especially complicated because of the potential for multiple parties to be liable for resulting injuries. One example where this can happen is when a cargo spill is a factor in an accident or if cargo causes the truck to crash. Most times this is a result of improper loading.
If the company that owned the cargo also loaded it onto the truck, it may be liable for resultant damages if improper loading caused or contributed to the accident. It is important to secure the cargo in such a way that it does not pose a threat to others on the roadway.
Failure to do so could be considered negligent. If the company that owns the cargo had nothing to do with loading or transporting it, claimants may hold others liable instead.
Some companies may even own the cargo and employ the driver who is transporting it, in which case claimants may hold the company responsible for negligent actions of its employee if driver error is to blame for the accident. Third party liability is not entirely uncommon when it comes to truck accidents.
Third party liability mean it may be possible to sue the:
- trucking company; and
It’s important to note that sometimes the shipper may try to shift blame onto someone else, such as a transportation broker. Since it is possible for several parties to be liable, this would be a good reason to talk with an attorney. The attorney can help claimants explore all possibilities.
Cargo Problems That Could Lead to an Accident
One of the most common cargo problems that could lead to an accident is when the cargo isn’t loaded correctly. Sometimes it may shift during transport. But if this was the result of not securing it properly or failing to balance the cargo, claimants could hold the company responsible for loading and securing the cargo negligent and liable for damages.
In some cases, improperly loaded cargo could contribute to the accident instead of outright causing it. If a driver is speeding and takes a turn too sharply, an improperly secured load could shift and contribute – along with the driver’s reckless behavior – to the accident.
Another type of problem is when the cargo is hazardous and the driver and trucking company aren’t made aware of the hazard. If this cargo is transported and an accident results in a chemical spill or a fire, the shipping company could be liable.
Damages Recoverable in a Truck Accident Claim
When suing the company that owns the cargo, it’s important to keep in mind the types of losses suffered. Although there may be a loss of income and medical bills, other damages could be available, too.
Additional damages recoverable in a truck accident claim include:
- pain and suffering;
- permanent disability;
- mental anguish; and
- reduced quality of life are some examples.
If the injuries were fatal, the family may be entitled to wrongful death damages. For help understanding legal options available, contact D.J. Banovitz. He is an attorney knowledgeable in truck accident cases and can explain an injured person’s rights.