Colorado Springs Truck Cargo Spill Attorneys
When a truck spills its cargo, chaos ensues. Depending on the cargo, it could lead to a pileup collision, crushed cars, or even an explosion. Needless to say, these kinds of accidents are devastating. Even worse, they are often completely preventable. If you have been injured in a cargo spill, then you are likely still trying to recover from the physical and emotional trauma. Thankfully, there are ways for you to recover money for the damages that you have suffered.
Filing a personal injury claim, even when you are clearly within your rights to do so, is not an easy process, especially if you are going up against a powerful trucking company. That is where we at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., can step in. We have years of experience in making sure our clients get the settlements that they are owed. If you want to work with one of the best legal teams in Colorado Springs, call our office at (719) 475-2555. We are ready to help.
A commercial truck’s purpose is to carry cargo from one point to another. This cargo can vary from groceries to construction equipment to logs to chemicals. Whatever a truck is carrying, it should always be secured in place, ensuring that nothing falls onto the road or nearby cars. Sadly, cargo spills can and do happen. There are a number of reasons, but some of the most common include:
- The cargo was not secured
- The trailer was overloaded
- The cargo was unbalanced
- The driver was negligent
- There was a mechanical failure
Whatever the exact cause of the accident, the root reason was most likely an act of negligence. When a truck is properly loaded, cargo is secured, and the driver is cautious, a cargo spill simply doesn’t happen. Sadly, it is rarely the negligent party who faces the consequences of their poor choices. It is the victims of these accidents who are left with debilitating injuries.
There is no such thing as a harmless truck accident. The sheer size and weight of semi-trucks means that when they are involved in a collision, it is devastating. However, cargo spills are unique, because the truck itself may not actually hit any other vehicles. Instead, the cargo makes contact. Victims may be facing the consequences of the accident for years to come, depending on what is spilled:
Logs: Wood is commonly used for building, fuel, and even paper. That is why logging trucks are a common sight on the road. Most people get nervous when they drive near a logging truck, as the logs themselves very clearly weigh thousands of pounds and could easily crush anyone unlucky enough to be in their path. These logs must be loaded in a balanced way and tightly secured with restraints and heavy chains. If they aren’t and roll off, they can cause catastrophic injuries to victims, such as brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and even the loss of a limb.
Cement: Cement trucks are easily recognizable due to the spinning tank they have instead of a trailer. The good news about cement trucks is that their drivers are rarely fatigued, as cement can only be transported for 90 minutes before it becomes unusable. However, this time crunch can lead drivers to rush. To make matters worse, cement trucks have a higher center of gravity than typical trucks, making them more likely to fall over when driven at high speeds. When cement spills, the weight of the wet material can easily destroy cars and crush nearby victims, leading to broken bones, organ damage, and crush injuries.
Chemicals: A “tanker” is a semi-truck that is designed to carry chemicals, often in liquid or gaseous form. These trucks look similar to the typical 18-wheeler but have a massive tank instead of a trailer. Tankers can carry all kinds of chemicals, including ones that are carcinogenic (cause cancer), explosive, corrosive, or poisonous. When a tanker leaks, victims may inhale dangerous gas, develop chemical burns, or suffer shock in a massive explosion. Tankers are among the most dangerous commercial trucks, especially with a cargo spill.
Of course, any truck has the potential to spill its cargo when negligent workers are involved, and any cargo, even jugs of milk or boxes of fruit, has the potential to injure people. If you have become the victim of a cargo accident, then you are entitled to proper compensation. However, getting that compensation will require filing a claim against the liable party.
Truck accidents, especially cargo spills, can usually be traced back to at least one negligent party. While the trucking company would have you believe it was just a small mistake or that you were at fault somehow, these are just tactics they use to make sure you get as little compensation as possible. The truth is that cargo spills are almost always caused by an act of negligence on the trucking side. Parties that are commonly liable include:
The driver: Truckers are the front line when it comes to truck safety. They are the ones in control of the vehicles. This means they have the most impact on whether a truck makes it to its destination. If a truck driver acts negligently by speeding, running red lights, or taking turns too quickly, then he or she is responsible for the fallout of his or her actions.
The loading crew: The way the cargo is loaded can determine whether it spills out on the road. Proper restraints must be used; the cargo has to be balanced; the truck cannot be overloaded. The loading crew is responsible for making sure the cargo is correctly placed inside the truck. If they fail to secure it, then they may be the ones you need to hold responsible.
The company: Trucking companies operate to make a profit -- there is no way around that. This means they will often try to cut corners or rush their drivers in order to make more money. For example, many trucking companies will overload their trucks without bothering to get the correct permits to transport more goods. If the trucking company’s negligence led to your injuries, then you have a case against it.
The mechanic: Trucks see a lot of wear and tear. This means they need constant upkeep and maintenance. As mechanical failures, such as a popped tire, broken restraint, or defective brake, can contribute to a spill, the mechanic responsible for keeping up the truck could be the one responsible for your accident.
Finding out who’s really to blame, especially in a case as chaotic as a cargo spill, can seem impossible. It requires making an in-depth investigation, speaking to witnesses, working with accident reconstructionists, taking photos of the accident itself, and looking into the black-box data. That can seem overwhelming, especially if you are in the process of recovering from severe injuries. However, when you work with a skilled lawyer, you won’t have to worry about that process at all: we can take care of it for you, giving you the time you need to heal.
Cargo spills can be traumatic, especially if the cargo was particularly hazardous. Few people can walk away from a tanker explosion without going through a lengthy physical and emotional recovery period. Sadly, the recovery process can be an expensive one, and if the trucking company had its way, you would be left shouldering the cost on your own. However, you should always remember that the law is on your side: you have a right to compensation. In order to get it, you need to work with an experienced Colorado Springs truck accident attorney, who can give your case the time and attention it needs. We at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. can offer you just that. To speak with a member of our team, call our office at (719) 475-2555 today.