Euless Spillage of Contents Truck Accident Lawyer
It’s a driver’s worst nightmare. You’re driving down the highway behind a large truck when, suddenly, the truck’s cargo spills onto the road. The spilled contents smash into your car — or maybe you manage to brake or swerve to avoid the contents, but cause a collision with another car in the process. In either event, you’ve just been involved in a spillage of contents accident.
A “spillage of contents” accident is any type of accident that occurs when objects are spilled onto the road. Usually, these accidents occur because a cargo truck hasn’t properly secured its load. However, they can also happen as a result of other types of accidents. For example, if the truck is t-boned by another vehicle, the collision may trigger a spillage of contents accident.
Regardless of the cause, spillage of contents accidents are often severe. They frequently cause injuries to other drivers and passengers. Sadly, car driver and passenger fatalities are also common. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that most deaths in large truck accidents involve people in smaller cars.
If you get in a spillage of contents accident, you may have a strong case for a lawsuit. The truck driver and their employer may be liable for damages. With compensation for damages, you can pay medical bills, replace a damaged vehicle, or cover wages you may have lost while recovering from the accident.
Types of Spillage of Contents Accidents
In some cases, a spillage of contents causes direct damage. This happens when the spilled cargo lands on your vehicle or in your immediate path. It may damage your car and cause injuries. For example, spillage of contents accidents often cause shattered windshields and damage to the hood of your car. If the cargo is large and heavy enough, it may even crush your vehicle.
Other spillage of contents accidents occur indirectly. In these cases, you’re able to maneuver away from the fallen cargo or stop in time to avoid being hit. However, many drivers in this scenario end up causing a separate accident with other vehicles. These secondary accidents may result in any of the following:
A rear-end collision can occur after a spillage of contents accident when you stop suddenly. If the vehicle behind you wasn’t following at a safe distance, it can smash into your rear-bumper. Rear-end collisions frequently result in whiplash, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries. They may also lead to multi-car pileups, which can be fatal.
In a rollover accident, sudden movement causes your vehicle to become imbalanced and roll over. This can occur as a result of spillage of contents when you change lanes quickly or swerve to avoid the fallen truck cargo. Rollover accidents can be fatal because the top of a car isn’t designed to hold weight. Survivors often need surgeries and physical rehabilitation. Some may become permanently disabled.
When dodging spilled cargo, you may collide with another car because you don’t have time to check your blind spots. This is a side-swipe collision. In these accidents, both vehicles may swerve off the road or collide with objects. Depending on the speed and angle of impact, a side-swipe collision can cause neck injuries, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries, as well as broken bones or internal bleeding.
Spillage of Contents Accidents: Solid Cargo vs. Liquid Cargo
The severity of a spillage of contents accident varies depending on the type of cargo. In the United States, large commercial trucks like tractor-trailers are used to haul everything from food and retail goods to liquid fuel and chemicals. Unfortunately, anything in a truck’s cargo can theoretically be involved in a spillage of contents accident.
Solid Spilled Contents
Solid spillage of contents accidents can include smaller objects like fruit and vegetables, gravel, and boxes, as well as large objects such as mattresses, furniture, or industrial equipment.
These spillage of contents accidents are often worse because the objects themselves can do damage. For example, a piece of heavy machinery can crush your car.
Usually, these accidents happen because the truck’s cargo wasn’t properly secured. The truck’s storage system may have suffered mechanical damage due to poor maintenance. For example, the locks or hinges on a cargo door may have become rusted. In other scenarios, the cargo shifts once the truck begins moving. This can throw off the truck’s balance, causing it to spill its cargo.
Liquid Spilled Contents
Liquid spillage of contents accidents involve water, milk, petroleum, gasoline, or other liquid chemicals. Because liquids are usually transported in tanker-trucks, these accidents often occur due to a phenomenon called “sloshing.”
Sloshing happens when the tanker truck isn’t adequately filled. If there’s too much room in the tank, the liquid can begin sloshing around once the truck starts moving at high speeds. The faster the truck travels, the faster the liquid sloshes. This begins to throw the truck out of balance.
If there’s enough sloshing, the tanker may tip or roll over. Then, the liquid spills onto the road. This creates an unsafe, slippery surface that can cause drivers to get into accidents. If the liquid is a dangerous chemical, such as gasoline, it also poses additional hazards. Accident victims may suffer chemical burns, lung damage from toxic fumes, or long-term health problems as a result of exposure.
What to Do After a Spillage of Contents Accident
If you’re involved in a spillage of contents accident with a truck, focus on your safety. Move your vehicle to a safe location out of traffic, if possible, then call an ambulance if anyone is injured. Then, collect the truck driver’s information. Be sure to get their employer’s information, too. If the accident occurred due to mechanical failure, the employer may share liability.
Finally, contact a Euless, TX truck accident lawyer. Call (214) 305-8277 for your free consultation.