Liability for Load Shifting: Truck Accident Caused by Cargo Spill

With a handful of major highways in Texas for transporting goods on a daily basis, truck accidents are a frequent occurrence. In fact, in the year 2014 alone, Texas witnessed 417 vehicle accidents involving a truck-tractor/semi-trailer, according to Texas Peace Officers Crash Reports.

When an accident of this type occurs, learning what caused the accident — and whether or not it was preventable — is key. Let’s investigate who a truck crash victim can hold responsible for load shifting, a truck accident with a cargo spill.

The Cargo Loader

If a shift in cargo or unsecured cargo leads to an accident, the person or party who handled loading the cargo may be to blame. This is especially true if the cargo loader loaded the cargo in a way that was negligent.

  • Failing to adhere to safety standards
  • Securing the cargo in an inappropriate fashion
  • Overloading the load, etc.

An Equipment Manufacturer

Sometimes, cargo is loaded and secured properly but fails to stay in place as a result of an equipment malfunction (i.e. securement systems break/fail). If this causes an accident, then the manufacturer of the defective equipment may be held liable for all damages that result if it can be proven that the equipment was, in fact, defective and unfit for use.

Shipper or Trucking Company

In some cases, the shipper or trucking company may be held liable for a cargo shift or cargo spill.

Usually, it happens in this manner: the shipper or trucking company was negligent, the nature of the load was inherently dangerous: (i.e., was combustible and not fit for shipping, causing the accident), and the shipper or trucking company failed to properly do one of the following (and was obligated to do so).

  • Load the cargo properly
  • Inform the driver of the nature of the load
  • Employ adequate securement policies

The Truck Driver

Finally, the truck driver may be held liable for the accident if the tractor-trailer driver was aware of the nature of the cargo and the load that s/he was carrying, and yet drove in a negligent or reckless manner regardless. Taking a turn too quickly with a heavy load, for example, is illustrative of truck driver negligence.

Meet with a Truck Accident Attorney in Dallas Today

If you are unsure who might be liable for the load that moved and thus caused your truck crash, reach out to a truck accident attorney that is familiar with commercial accidents. Remember, you must act quickly; the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Texas is two years. At the Law Office of Julie Johnson, PLLC, attorney Julie Johnson is ready to meet with you to discuss your claim and the right to recovery today. Call 214-290-8001 to schedule a consultation.

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