Hazards That Cause Falling Cargo
Many people cannot fathom that cargo would ever fall off a tractor-trailer. After all, these commercial trucks, and the people who drive them, have a legal obligation to get their cargo to its destination safely and to secure it properly. Additionally, cargo is usually secured in the back of a truck, with doors that are firmly sealed and locked. Unfortunately, cargo falls off trucks all too often. When it does, it causes serious injuries. Below, our San Antonio cargo securement accident lawyer explains some of the most common hazards that cause these types of crashes.
Failure of Cargo Straps
The failure of cargo straps usually happens on flatbed trucks. Flatbed trucks are ideal for hauling cargo that is irregularly shaped and would not fit into a traditional tractor-trailer. Bulky construction equipment, lumber, and portions of houses are just a few common types of cargo carried by flatbed trucks. Due to the fact that there is little between the cargo and other vehicles around the truck, it is essential that these types of cargo are well secured on a flatbed truck.
Cargo on flatbed trucks is secured by straps. When the straps fail, either because they were never fastened securely in the first place or because they break, the cargo can become imbalanced or worse, fly off the truck altogether. Even one strap failing can result in a total cargo collapse, particularly because much of the cargo on flatbed trucks already hangs off the side of the trailer.
Cargo inside the trailer of an 18-wheeler should always be securely fastened inside. When it is not, it can shift during transport. In the best of cases, it may shift inside the trailer and throw the truck off balance (known as a “load shift”). In the worst of cases, it may come loose entirely and crash against the rear door. Even in these instances, the doors should be securely latched, preventing the cargo from becoming loose. When those latches are defective, they can easily cause cargo to drop onto the load, and motorists surrounding the truck may not have time to get out of the way.
Small Debris Falling Off the Truck
In other instances, trucks may carry cargo that is purposely not secured. For example, trucks carrying gravel or viscous liquids (like animal by-products) may not always have a roof over the cargo. Or, a garbage truck may not be fully secured, as the mechanism needs to regularly turn and allow more cargo to be added. In these instances, even something as small as a pebble or a loose plastic bag can cause a serious accident, particularly if the cargo becomes loose on a highway or the liquid spills on the road causing vehicles to lose control and crash.
Our Cargo Loading and Securement Accident Lawyer in San Antonio Can Help After a Crash
Unfortunately, cargo falls off trucks for a number of reasons and when it does, it causes catastrophic accidents that result in serious injuries. At the Law Office of Israel Garcia, our San Antonio cargo securement accident lawyer has the necessary experience with these types of cases to determine the cause of the crash, and help you obtain the fair settlement you are entitled to. Call us now at 210-LAW-9999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.