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Who Pays If I Am Injured by Cargo or Debris Falling Off a Truck?

Posted on in Truck Accidents

Lake County Truck Accident Law Firm

Ever had a vehicle in front of you kick up a rock or other piece of road debris that hits your car or windshield? It happens to most drivers at least once in their lifetime. The resulting damage to your vehicle is generally minor and covered by your auto insurance if you carry comprehensive coverage. But what if you encounter a much more severe road hazard such as cargo spilled by a commercial truck? If the cargo in a semi-trailer or dump truck is improperly loaded and secured, the load can shift in transit, causing the driver to lose control, tip over, and spill their entire load onto the roadway. If you or a loved one suffers severe injury as a result of a semi-truck accident like this, you may have a cause of action against the truck operator. 

Cargo spills sometimes result from a semi-truck collision with another vehicle. In this situation, other vehicles typically slow to avoid the accident and thereby avoid hitting the spilled goods. However, some cargo spills have tragic consequences.

A Semi-Truck Crash Can Spill Cargo that Hits Other Vehicles

In a recent incident in Michigan, a semi-trailer loaded about 15 feet high with junked cars hit the top of an overpass on an interstate highway. The impact caused an engine to fly off the semi-trailer and hit the windshield of a pick-up truck, breaking its windshield and critically wounding a young man. The truck driver was obviously at fault in this situation for failing to properly secure its cargo and for failing to heed the warning sign on the overpass that stated the standard clearance height of 14’2”. 

The impact of an over-height truck striking a bridge can cause significant damage to the bridge itself. Chunks of concrete and other debris may fall and hit vehicles on the roadway. If you happened to be driving under the bridge in the aftermath of the accident and are struck by debris, the truck driver who crashed into the bridge would probably be liable. If your car is hit by debris from the damaged bridge at a later date, you may have a cause of action against the state Department of Transportation or other government authority responsible for the bridge.

Truck Crash on Interstate Exit or Entrance Ramp

A different type of cargo-spill incident in Pennsylvania involved an 18-wheeler that overturned while attempting to exit an interstate and rolled off the ramp onto the highway 20 feet below. An oncoming driver was injured when his car collided with some of the hundreds of empty beer kegs that spilled out of the semi-trailer.

Consult a Lake County Truck Accident Attorney

Tragic car accidents can occur when a semi-truck spills cargo or debris onto the roadway. If you are injured as a result of a semi-truck operator’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and associated pain and suffering. Before accepting any settlement from a trucking company or their insurance company, discuss your case with an experienced Waukegan car accident lawyer to ensure that you are compensated for the full extent of your losses. For a free consultation, call the law offices of Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303.

Sources:

https://www.wnem.com/news/man-critically-injured-after-semi-hits-overpass-debris-crash-through/article_0ed31388-733d-11e9-8ee8-b76b8d693979.html

https://fox59.com/2017/01/10/i-465-northbound-closed-near-rockville-road-after-crash-leaves-debris-on-interstate/

https://people.com/food/beer-truck-crash-kegs/

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