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Truck accidents often produce the most catastrophic outcomes when involving other motor vehicles. The size alone makes them dangerous, but when the people involved in the truck’s operation and cargo loading are negligent, it can have deadly repercussions. Suppose you suffered an injury or lost someone you love in an accident caused by unsecured cargo on a commercial trunk. In that case, you have the right to seek compensation for physical, financial, and emotional damages. However, given the complex nature of liability in these cases, you would likely benefit from speaking with a truck accident lawyer.
There are multiple types of commercial truck trailers, and the most common types are the flatbed trailer and the dry van trailer, also known as the box trailer. Flatbed trailers have no walls or doors and typically rely on straps to secure cargo. Box trailers are, as the name implies, box-shaped and secured in the back with doors.
When the cargo on a flatbed trailer is not secured correctly, the risk is that it could fall off the trailer, striking another vehicle and leaving hazardous debris on the road for other drivers. For box trailers, the dangers mainly refer to the effect that shifting cargo can have on a moving truck. The center of gravity is already high in this type of vehicle, making it a risk for rollover accidents. For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration developed strict regulations for securing cargo. When a person or company fails to secure cargo in accordance with FMCSA regulations and others suffer injuries, they can be held accountable in civil court.
To file a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages, you must prove that someone else is liable for your losses. That process can become significantly more complex in a truck accident than in a standard motor vehicle accident case. Some potential defendants in a case involving unsecured cargo include:
Sometimes these cases involve more than one defendant or even more than one type of lawsuit. For example, suppose cargo fell off a truck because the loading company failed to secure it properly and the truck driver failed to perform regular inspections. In that case, you could file a claim against the truck driver and the loading company. Additionally, if you later discover that the straps used to hold down the cargo were defective, you could file a product liability case against the manufacturer.
As with any personal injury case, the value of your claim comes from the losses you suffered from the accident. Those losses are called compensatory damages, and they vary depending on the severity of your accident. If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, the compensatory damages in a wrongful death case are slightly different.
The type categories of compensatory damages are economic and non-economic. Economic damages are specific losses with tangible evidence. Examples include:
The non-economic damages relate more closely to the emotional and mental suffering you endured due to the accident. For example, you can seek damages for the effects of physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, and the emotional distress caused by the accident.
Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit specifically relate to the losses you suffer when dealing with losing a loved one. For example, the economic damages can include:
The non-economic damages from a wrongful death case refer to the pain and suffering you felt. They can include loss of companionship or loss of consortium, emotional distress, mental anguish, and inability to enjoy life as you did before.
Punitive damages are rare in a truck accident case involving improperly secured cargo. However, the court awards punitive damages to the plaintiff when there is evidence of malice or gross negligence. For example, suppose the truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and driving recklessly at the time of the accident. In that case, you could receive punitive damages to punish the driver for that behavior.
If you recently suffered an injury in a truck accident because someone did not properly secure the cargo, you do not have to face the financial, physical, and emotional burdens on your own. If you lost someone you love, you deserve compensation for that anguish. A truck accident lawyer understands what you are experiencing and can help you understand your options moving forward. In an unsecured cargo truck accident, the defendant is likely a large company with many resources. You may want someone in your corner to fight that battle for you.
The personal injury attorneys at Fielding Law have years of experience handling truck accident cases. We understand your burdens and know you do not have the time or energy to consider a lawsuit. Our job is to handle it for you, and we will fight with tenacity until we reach a fair settlement or award. These accident cases are far more complex because of the type of defendant. However, we take the time to know the details of your case so we can effectively communicate on your behalf. Contact Fielding Law today to speak with an experienced attorney risk-free.