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3 FAQs About Truck Accidents Caused by Spilled Cargo

August 18, 2019

by Donaldson & Weston

personal injury lawyer

Imbalanced or poorly secured cargo is one of the leading contributors to commercial truck accidents. If a tractor-trailer’s load shifts en route, the vehicle might roll over, and if cargo spills onto the highway, a multivehicle pileup may ensue.

If you or someone you love was hurt in a truck wreck caused by falling cargo, you may be entitled to compensation for all resulting damages. To obtain a financial recovery, however, you must prove both liability and damages.

Unfortunately, gathering evidence of liability will likely require a thorough and time-consuming investigation. It may be necessary to file subpoenas, interview eyewitnesses, and bring in various experts to assist with the investigation and to provide deposition and testimony. Meanwhile, you can expect the defendant and their insurance company to challenge your claim at every turn.

Given the complexity of these proceedings, it’s only natural for you to have questions. Below, we’ve answered some general FAQs about cargo-related truck accident cases:

1. Who Might Be Liable for Damages After a Cargo-Related Truck Accident?

When falling or spilled cargo causes a truck accident, there are several parties that could be liable including:

  • The Trucker: Commercial drivers have an obligation to monitor their load en route and to ensure it remains properly secured until they reach their destination.
  • The Motor Carrier: There’s a multitude of reasons why a motor carrier might try to overload its vehicles. For example, transporting more cargo on fewer trucks can reduce total operating costs; however, it can also make collisions more likely.
  • The Cargo Loading Company: It’s not uncommon for motor carriers to use a third party to load their vehicles. If this contractor fails to secure the cargo properly, they could be liable for any accidents that result.
  • The Municipality Responsible for Maintaining the Roads: Sometimes poor road conditions can jostle cargo to the point that it falls off the flatbed. If this happens, injured parties may have grounds for a claim against the government agency that failed to maintain the roads.

2. What Kinds of Damages Can I Pursue by Filing a Truck Accident Claim?

In Florida, truck accident victims have the right to seek compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Loss of enjoyment in life;
  • Property damage;
  • Alternative transportation;
  • Medical expenses;
  • Home care;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of future earnings;
  • Child care; and
  • Domestic help.

3. How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After Getting Hurt in a Truck Accident?

In Florida, the standard statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is four years. If you want to sue a government entity, though, you must submit written notice first and then allow for a 180-day investigation.

If the agency denies your claim, you have three years from the date on which the accident occurred to proceed to trial. And if you want to file a wrongful death lawsuit following a truck accident, your family most likely has two years from the date of death to go to court.

Call 772-266-5555 to Discuss Your Case with a Florida Truck Accident Attorney

If you were hurt in a truck accident caused by falling or spilled cargo, contact Donaldson & Weston to discuss your case. We will conduct a detailed investigation to gather the evidence needed to prove liability and the total value of your damages. Call 772-266-5555 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Florida.