When one thinks of accidents involving trucks, one imagines the actual conveyance being involved. However, a truck need not hit anyone in order for an accident to happen. If a load is unsecured within a truck bed, or if a semi-truck has been loaded too much, whatever is in the truck can be the agent of harm to another person, rather than the vehicle itself.
The Profit Motive Matters
With the increase in large trucks on U.S. roads, trucking companies will occasionally cut corners in their haste to move product and people across the country. This can mean hiring drivers who may not be the best fit for the job (for example, those who have conditions that would normally disqualify them), but it can also mean negligently maintaining vehicles or securing loads. The AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety (AAA) estimates approximately 25,000 accidents per year occur at least in part due to debris “unintentionally dislodged” from the roadway, and it is not unreasonable to assume that a significant part of this debris comes off large trucks.
Trucking companies may overload their trucks, or their employees may load a truck inexpertly, but the end result is often the same. There are multiple methods of incorrectly loading a large truck – for example, failing to tie down large items like telephone poles or construction equipment, or overfilling a cargo compartment. Driver behavior can also contribute to such accidents, however – it is not uncommon for a driver to, say, take a turn too quickly, which can cause a load to slip or alter its position or even fall off the truck.
If You Are Harmed
Accidents involving unsecured or overloaded trucks can sometimes be very simple to negotiate and sometimes very difficult, and the reason lies in the details. Some of these types of accidents originate due to driver misconduct, such as aggressive driving or falling asleep at the wheel, and these accidents generally get settled with relative ease. The primary reason is that the common-law doctrine of vicarious liability still exists in Texas, which means that in cases where the trucker’s actions are the alleged cause of liability, the trucking company may still be able to be held responsible. If this is the case in a certain action, the company almost always wants to settle and eliminate the possibility of a large verdict.
Other times, obtaining a settlement or any kind of compensation for your injuries turns out to be much more difficult because the causation of the accident can be shown to have happened much further away from the actual event. If the direct cause of an accident is shown to be, for example, employees at the trucking company’s office in Louisiana tying a load onto a truck bed in a negligent manner, it will be more time-consuming and painstaking to prove that than it would be to show that the truck driver drove negligently. Obtaining compensation is still possible, but it will likely be more involved and more time-consuming.
Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers
Texas highways see quite a few big trucks every day, and the potential is there for an accident. If it has happened to you or a loved one, our passionate New Braunfels trucking accident attorneys may be able to help you get the compensation you need. Call The Bettersworth Law Firm today to set up an initial appointment.