There are millions of commercial trucks, semis, and other cargo vehicles on the roads and highways in South Carolina, carrying millions of dollars of freight every day. These industrial-grade vehicles carrying goods to and from businesses and consumers are often just a part of the background of daily life on the road—right up until unsecured cargo causes a truck accident with a passenger car.
How Poorly Loaded Cargo Causes Truck Wrecks
When cargo isn't properly loaded, it can cause the freight to shift and the driver to lose control, often leading to a catastrophic or fatal accident. There are two main ways in which a commercial truck can cause a wreck due to the way the cargo is loaded or handled:
- Unsecured or poorly secured cargo. All cargo needs to be secured in the trailer or back of the vehicle such that it cannot move, shift, or fall out of the back. Straps, webbing, and other hardware should be used in the interior to make sure that no cargo can move or fall out. The rear doors should also be secured so that if something does shift and fall, it doesn’t come toppling out of the back and strike another vehicle or cause an obstacle on the road.
- Unbalanced cargo. Cargo must be loaded properly for balance, especially in large tractor-trailers or semi-trucks. If part of an 80,000-pound load shifts to the left or right, the entire vehicle can fall on its side and crush anything—or anyone—caught underneath.
Ultimately, the driver is usually the one responsible for ensuring the safety of his or her cargo and faces legal liability if it causes an accident. The person or people who loaded the cargo, the trucking company, and even the owner of the freight itself may also share in the responsibility if an accident happens.
Get Legal Help After a Truck Accident in South Carolina
Truck accident claims are legally complex due to many state and federal rules and regulations regarding commercial vehicles, as well as the number of insurers and other parties that may be involved. Multiple insurance claims or lawsuits may be necessary for victims to receive complete financial recovery. A truck accident lawyer who is familiar with the industry can help you pursue every party responsible for your injuries so that you can receive the full value of your claim, including compensation for your hospital bills, medications, physical therapy, and other long-term care needs, as well as vehicle repair or replacement and other expenses related to the crash.
If you have been hurt in an 18 wheeler crash caused by unsecured truck cargo in South Carolina, the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger is here to help you and your family with the recovery process today. Call us today at 803-790-2800 (Columbia, SC) / 843-427-2800 (Myrtle Beach, SC), or start a live chat 24/7 with a real, live person to arrange a free and confidential consultation.