When you think of truck accidents in West Virginia, you might think of those caused by some of the most obvious and common reasons – from drunk driving to drowsy driving, from speeding to negligence, and more. Being injured in a West Virginia truck accident is a reality that many people face each day with handfuls of reasons why these accidents occur. What if your truck accident was caused by a driver, company, or loader who did not secure a cargo load to the truck as intended?
Our truck accident injury attorneys are familiar with cases where unsecured cargo has fallen off the back of a truck and caused accidents and injuries to other parties who were obeying the rules of the road at the time of their accident. One of the biggest steps to consider before taking a large commercial truck onto the roadways is to see if the load is secured tightly and properly to a truck. What if you have been injured in a truck accident due to an unsecured load?
How Unsecured Cargo Can Become a Dangerous Scenario
Truck accidents lead to serious injuries and fatalities every day, even on West Virginia roads. Deaths caused by commercial trucks have reached their highest level in 2017 for 29 consecutive years in a row, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Because of this, considering the dangers of unsecured cargo is imperative so that trucking companies can work from within to prevent these serious accidents on our roads.
So why is unsecured cargo so dangerous? The nature of the cargo, first of all, is an important consideration to make. Truck accidents in these scenarios are typically caused by heavy items like steel coils or beams that fall off the back of the truck when they have not been loaded properly. The impact that an object can make when it falls from the back of a truck can be terrifying and devastating to those involved. For instance, if an object at as little as 20 pounds falls off the back of a truck that is traveling 55 mph, science shows that it can create over 1,000 pounds of force when it makes contact with another vehicle.
In a three-year study conducted by AAA, it was discovered that unsecured cargo happens more frequently than we would like to admit. Between 2011-2014, over 200,000 accidents were caused by loose cargo and debris falling from trucks. Many of these accidents were caused by the debris physically striking a vehicle, while others were caused by a driver swerving to avoid falling debris from the back of a truck.
Who is Responsible for Unsecured Cargo Accidents?
FMCSA oversees truck safety, which includes proper ways to secure loads to the back of a truck. Drivers are taught on how they can secure loads so that the doors to the back of a tractor-trailer never open during driving and that a truck is never overloaded.
Sometimes, however, it starts within and a truck company will be held liable for one of these accidents when they did not properly train an employee on how to secure a load. Though truck drivers are supposed to be trained and must inspect the cargo that they are carrying before a trip, both the driver or the company could be held liable in many of these cases.
How a West Virginia Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
Our attorneys at Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner have handled many tractor-trailer accidents in West Virginia and have the expertise and dedication to help you through this difficult time. When results seem impossible and you are unsure of how to move forward, our personal injury attorneys will assist you so that you can get started on working toward the reimbursement you deserve for your losses. If you are in need of assistance with your truck accident case, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information at (304) 713-2014.