Last Updated: 6/15/2023
Drivers struck by falling cargo from a large truck can file a truck accident claim, this is called an unsecured load and unfortunately, most truck accident lawyers are very familiar with this situation. Many times, the cargo is secured inside a tractor trailer, but sometimes the cargo is not enclosed in a trailer.
The cargo, such as pipes, logs and boxes, may be exposed. If the cargo is not secure, then the cargo can enter the roadway creating a very dangerous hazard. An Iowa law firm in Des Moines can help victims of accidents caused by this loose cargo establish accident liability and recover compensation for damages.
Filing a Truck Accident Claim
Even if the truck does not physically crash into another vehicle, victims of accidents caused by falling cargo can still file a truck accident claim. This is because truck drivers and companies have a responsibility to keep cargo secure so that others are not injured. In addition, truck drivers have a duty to drive safely. This means in a manner so that cargo does not fall off the trailer and into the path of other vehicles.
A driver must suffer damages or injuries caused by the falling cargo in order to file a claim. Simply witnessing the act of cargo falling off a trailer does not warrant a claim. A lawyer with an Iowa law firm in Des Moines can answer any questions about whether a client has a valid claim.
Determining Accident Liability
Determining liability is the most important part of a claim. If the truck driver was the one who loaded the cargo, then he or she may be held responsible for causing the accident. If another employee of the trucking or shipping company loaded the cargo, then he or she may bear some responsibility.
If the driver is hauling cargo for a trucking or shipping company, then the truck company may be liable under a law called respondeat superior. This means that the company bears liability for any injuries or harmful acts caused by employees during the course of their employment. In order to hold the company liable, the victim must be able to prove that the truck driver or another employee of the trucking company was negligent. If a third-party loaded the cargo, that party may be found to hold accident liability.
Another thing to consider is product defects. If the truck driver or others securely loaded the cargo but a defect with the trailer led to the cargo coming loose and spilling onto the roadway, the manufacturer of the trailer could hold accident liability.
In addition, multiple parties could be at fault for cargo-related accidents and injuries in a truck accident claim. Sometimes the trucking company and other companies could be held liable for damages. An Iowa law firm in Des Moines can review the facts in a case and help establish accident liability.
Contacting an Iowa Law Firm in Des Moines
Walker, Billingsley and Bair is an Iowa law firm in Des Moines with lawyers who can help victims injured by semi trucks and trailers, including accidents involving loose cargo that spills onto the roadway causing a collision with the truck, other vehicles, or structures around the roadway. Contact us today at (641) 792-0289 to schedule your consultation and for help pursuing a truck accident claim.