Every once in a while, we read some amusing story about a commercial truck spilling its cargo load on the road. Frozen pizzas, beer, spinach, liquid chocolate, and a wide variety of other foods and drinks… It has all ended up on the roads of Los Angeles or California as a result of truck cargo spill accidents.
But here’s the sad part: while these stories may seem amusing, truck cargo spill accidents can cause serious injuries, especially if the truck is carrying hazardous materials or the cargo spill causes a collision involving multiple vehicles.
“Not to mention that determining liable parties in a cargo spill truck accident can be quite complicated,” says our truck crash lawyer in Los Angeles at Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg. Oftentimes, the party responsible for the truck collision is not the same party responsible for the cargo spill.
Causes of truck cargo spill accidents
Needless to say, truck accidents involving cargo spills are particularly dangerous when the truck is carrying toxic or otherwise dangerous materials or chemicals. For example, when a truck is carrying gasoline, it could easily ignite after a truck crash and lead to a fire or explosion, which can cause even more severe injuries or even fatalities.
More often than not, however, truck cargo spill accidents are caused by cargo loading errors on the part of the truck driver, his/her trucking company, or a third-party service provider. There are quite a few safety regulations that exist for proper cargo loading. When cargo is not properly loaded, it can cause the cargo to spill out of the truck and/or result in the trailer jackknifing or rolling over.
Was the cargo negligently loaded?
If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is critical to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney in Los Angeles to determine whether the cargo was properly loaded or not. In most cases, trucking companies employ cargo loaders whose only job is to properly load cargo. This can be explained by the fact that loading cargo is a complicated process that requires special knowledge and skill as well as following strict regulations imposed by federal and state law.
Many truck cargo spill accidents are caused by the negligent or careless loading of the cargo into the trailer. In that case, the cargo loaders will be held solely responsible for the truck accident if the truck driver did not contribute to the crash.
How cargo loaders can be negligent when loading trucks
Our Los Angeles truck accident attorney explains that when it comes to loading cargo into truck trailers, cargo loaders can be negligent in several ways:
- The cargo is not properly secured by the loader, which can cause the cargo to shift around in the trailer when the truck turns. These shifts can cause an imbalance in the trailer and make it harder to operate the vehicle.
- The truck was overloaded with more cargo than it can handle. There are very specific and strict regulations when it comes to imposing weight limits for the amount of cargo this specific truck type is allowed to carry (as a result, the truck might slow down or stop in the middle of the trip, which can cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle).
- On the other hand, the truck can be underloaded with cargo, but this only applies to trucks carrying liquid cargo. For example, if the tanker trailer is underloaded with gasoline, water, or other liquid cargo, it will slosh back and forth throughout the trip, which might throw the truck off its balance or cause it to jackknife or roll-over.
Only an experienced truck accident attorney in Los Angeles can determine whether or not the cargo was negligently loaded. For this reason, our lawyers here at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg offer a free consultation. Call our offices at 310-997-0904 today.