Truck accidents can be some of the most concerning because of their potential to cause serious damage to just about anyone involved. This could be vehicle damage based on the number of vehicles involved, serious injuries, other forms of property damage, and more.
How the accident occurs is also a consideration as there are many different ways commercial trucks can cause and end up in accidents in Indiana. One of the important ones to make considerations for is cargo spill accidents.
While it's not necessarily practical to predict accidents caused in this way before they happen, it is possible to take certain precautions to avoid being a victim of injuries and other forms of damage when they happen. The information below is meant to assist you in doing this. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like What can you do to avoid Brake Failure Accidents in Indiana?
Preventing Cargo Spill Accidents
A cargo spill accident caused by a truck driver seems like the only logical series of events. However, safety tips for preventing these accidents from happening can apply to different groups of people, which are as follows:
First, there are the trucking companies, which can be the responsible parties in these accidents. It's their job to ensure that trucks are properly inspected and that drivers are adequately trained in loading procedures. Driver awareness of weight limits is also essential.
Next, there are drivers. One of the best courses of action is to always maintain a safe distance from any commercial trucks. This goes double if the truck is observed to be swaying or there may be debris falling. That is a good sign to slow down and reach out to the relevant authorities.
Finally, there are shippers. It's essential to secure cargo during the packing phases. Additionally, hazardous materials should be labeled and transported based on regulations.
Don't Ignore FMCSA Regulations
As cargo transporters, various rules will apply to truck drivers. For example, there are mandatory breaks they must take between their long trips to prevent concerns such as fatigue. Beyond these, there's the fact that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has passed down certain mandates that must be adhered to including:
Minimum standards that govern the vehicle that is being used to transport the cargo as it must be fit to do the job
Cargo being secured properly with the use of appropriate tie-down materials
Performance tests that must be carried out for the securing of the said cargo
Drivers must break periodically during their trips to properly inspect the cargo being transported for both stability and security
Guidelines governing where restrictions on cargo are expected to be placed.
Rules on unmarked and unrated anchor points
Why Is It Concerning When Commercial Trucks Have a Spill?
Chemical spills are one of the biggest concerns to this end, as trucks are known for transporting hazardous material. When a spill occurs, the environment for those nearby and entire communities can then become unhealthy and concerning. Of course, there is also the fact that fires, fumes, and explosions may be the result.
Sometimes the cargo doesn't even fall under the hazardous umbrella, but debris can be incredibly problematic and threatening. A box of goods, for example, can be very dangerous to others on the road. These kinds of things can set up other vehicles for multi-vehicle accidents.
Even before the spill occurs, if there is overloading at play, it presents a series of dangers including loss of vehicle control, tire blowouts, brake failures, etc. Additionally, this can cause trucks, which already have a pretty long stopping distance to have an even longer one.
Who Is Liable When a Commercial Truck Has a Cargo Spill Accident in Indiana?
Whether the cargo wasn't properly secure or the driver wasn't paying attention or something else entirely happened, who is supposed to be held responsible for the medical bills and other expenses of anyone who has been disaffected? It's not as straightforward as it would be if the driver of a private vehicle were at fault.
The Truck Driver
Sometimes, it will be as straightforward as the truck driver having taken a decision that led to the unfortunate circumstances. For example, there may have been a situation where the driver was operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which impaired awareness and the ability to maneuver the rig effectively. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also provide assistance to questions such as What can you do to avoid Truck Driver DUI Accidents in Indiana?
The Trucking Company
A company that has vehicles operating under its umbrella is responsible for ensuring that these vehicles are maintained and that loading standards are being met before they take off along the roadways. If there were a failure to carry out this duty at play, it stands to reason that the trucking company will bear responsibility. A semi truck accident lawyer in Indianapolis can give more information on this.
Of course, there are cases where a third party is used for the loading element, in which that company can be held responsible if the proper steps were not taken to load the cargo effectively.
A Shipping or Cargo Company
Shipping and cargo companies are expected to ensure that packaging is done properly and that there is a proper level of structural integrity before any kind of loading takes place. A failure to do this can see such a company be held liable.
There may have been a component on or in the truck that failed because of a manufacturing fault. In such cases, the liability may fall with the maker of the vehicle or the associated component.
Perhaps unsafe road conditions were to blame. Local governments are meant to ensure that this is not an occurrence. Should the accident occur because of road conditions, the municipality can be to blame.
Determining fault in a truck accident may not be a one-party thing. Sometimes, there are multiple factors at play, which lead to multiple defendants being a part of the proceedings.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Outstanding Indiana Truck Accident Attorney Today!
If you were injured in a cargo spill accident in Indiana, you may wish to seek compensation from the responsible party, which can be difficult without the right legal counsel in your corner to deal with insurance companies that may wish to swindle you out of what you deserve.
At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, we know all their tricks and are willing to go to war for you! Schedule a free consultation today!