When people think of crashes involving massive commercial-sized trucks, they often think of the collisions: a truck rear-ending a stopped vehicle or smashing into oncoming traffic after crossing the center line.
While these are certainly some of the most catastrophic types of wrecks involving a truck, you don’t have to get struck by the truck to be severely hurt by one.
Cargo can spill from trucks if a truck flips over, or if the materials are unsecured or improperly loaded. Spilled cargo can cause significant obstacles and hazards for other motorists. Recently, for instance, a Georgia driver suffered injuries after several logs on a logging truck dislodged and smashed through the driver’s windshield.
Materials that spill from a truck can strike other cars or leave debris on the road that other drivers cannot avoid hitting. If the cargo is hazardous, spills can pose a threat to the health and safety of anyone in the area, including people who aren’t driving.
Truck wrecks can create chaos and a massive accident scene. There can be unexpected detours due to blocked roads. Rubbernecking motorists can get distracted trying to see what happened. Traffic can slow abruptly and significantly.
In each of these scenarios, a secondary accident can occur between vehicles not involved in the crash with the truck. While the damage in secondary accidents is often less severe, they can still cause expensive property damage and painful injuries.
Identifying liable parties
When a wreck is the result of something other than a truck-car collision, it can be difficult to know who may be liable for damages. Often, people assume the trucker or another motorist is the only party who may be responsible.
However, truck wrecks can be highly complicated, and there can be multiple parties who may share liability. The trucking company could be to blame for putting an unsafe truck on the road; parties who loaded the cargo could be liable if they did so improperly; government entities could be responsible for unsafe road conditions.
Because it is not always clear who may be liable, and because damages caused in these wrecks are often catastrophic, it can be crucial to work with an attorney to identify all negligent parties. Doing so can make it easier to collect maximum compensation in a negligence or wrongful death claim.