It’s a vulgar saying and you’ve undoubtedly heard that saying before, and when a semi or large commercial truck loses its load, accidents can happen.
Recently, an accident on I-16 westbound at US 129/Georgia 11 involved a large manure spill that blocked all lanes. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
A large amount of manure is just one of the many items that can fall off a commercial truck and cause an accident. When this happens, other drivers and their passengers may be seriously injured and/or sustain damage to their vehicles. The driver needs to know who’s responsible for their injuries and property damage. To be certain, you should work with an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer. At Tobin Injury Law, we have extensive experience in truck accident litigation and know what to look for when suing a trucking company.
What are the Most Frequent Types of Accident-Causing Road Debris From Semis?
Admittedly, manure spills are uncommon, but there are several types of road debris that frequently fall from semis that cause accidents:
- Truck parts that become detached, like grills, bumpers, and fenders;
- Loose or unsecured objects, such as appliances, construction equipment, vehicles being transported to a dealership, and other cargo;
- An 18-wheeler may lose a tire or a tire tread; and
- Tow trailers may become unhitched.
A study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that from 2011-2014, there were more than 200,000 accidents including semi truck accidents involving falling objects and road debris. These accidents resulted in more than 39,000 injuries and about 500 fatalities.
Who’s Responsible for This Mess?
You should know that that there are several possible parties who may be found to be at fault in this type of semi truck accident, in addition to the truck driver.
The trucking company may be found to be at fault if it violated the law in the operation of its fleet, or if they’re found to be liable for negligent hiring of poor drivers or in their training and operations. The trailer manufacturer can also be at fault for an accident if it’s found that the cargo spill was caused by a defective rig.
However, in many instances, the cargo company will be held liable for such an accident if it’s found that the freight was improperly loaded. There are federal laws that dictate how cargo must be secured on commercial trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry, including the securing of cargo. Here in Georgia, state regulations also say that a driver must “prevent any of its load from dropping, escaping, or shifting in such a manner as to create a safety hazard.”
The trucking and cargo companies must make sure that their employees know and comply with the cargo-securing rules. And there are different rules depending on the type of cargo.
An accident victim may pursue a claim for negligence against any or all of these parties. It’s possible that the driver failed to inspect the load after a fuel stop, and the cargo was no longer secured properly. The trucking company may have rules on how to secure certain items, which weren’t enough up the legal standards to keep the cargo from rolling off the trailer. Perhaps the trailer hitch or some part of the trailer was defective, like a faulty locking mechanism on the doors or gate.
Again, “s—t happens”. And if manure or anything else falls off a tractor-trailer onto the road creating a hazard and causing injury or damage, you can recover for the crash that results from that drop.
Believe it or not, our experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyers have worked on three cases where manure fell off a truck! It’s a weird thing to say, we know! If you’ve suffered serious injuries in a truck accident when cargo falls onto the roadway call us, and we will work to get you the compensation you deserve. With our experience and skills, we know what to look for when suing a trucking company.
You can contact an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 404-JUSTICE (404-587-8423) or using our online contact form. Tobin Injury Law offers free consultations and will be glad to answer your questions.