Unsafe Loads Often to Blame in Semi Truck Accidents

By March 15, 2013Safety Tips
Semi Truck

A semi truck accident and high winds are to blame for shutting down an entire bridge in Maryland. According to reports, the tractor trailer was blown by strong winds with so much force that it tipped over, coming to a rest propped up against a guardrail atop the bridge. It is unclear whether or not the tractor trailer was loaded or empty – wind restrictions had barred drivers of empty tractor trailers from using the bridge. Fortunately, no injuries were reported in this case, but that could have been different if there had been more cars on the road when the semi truck tipped. The bridge which was shut down by the accident was the Bay Bridge in Maryland.

Unsafe Loads Often to Blame

Because of the way they were designed, semi trucks have to conform to strict weight and load requirements. One common reason why drivers lose control of their vehicles is because of improperly secured loads. When a load isn’t secured properly, its contents shift, and a sudden change in weight distribution can have drastic effects for the semi truck driver trying to navigate a turn or, as in the case above, through high winds.

In the case above, if the truck was full but improperly loaded, the driver and/or entity responsible for the truck could have been found liable for any injuries resulting from the accident. Even if the truck was empty and was on the bridge in violation of the wind advisory, the same driver and/or entity responsible for the truck still could have been liable for any injuries. The law creates a general duty for semi-truck drivers to operate safely – which includes safe driving and safe load management.

When Injuries Occur

Following an accident that may have been caused by a tractor trailer out of control, either because of an improperly secured load or because of some kind of driver error or inattentiveness, injury victims have the right to seek monetary compensation from the driver or operator of the semi truck involved. This right exists whether or not criminal charges are brought in the matter.

In order for a person to be found responsible, or liable, for injuries resulting from a highway accident, the injury victim must show that his or her injuries were a direct result of the other person’s recklessness or negligence. If recklessness or negligence can be shown, the injury victim is typically allowed to recover.

Types of Recovery

There are several types of damages that a person can recover through civil litigation. Depending on the facts of the case, the injury victim may be entitled to monetary compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, repair / replacement expenses for damaged property, and certain other damages as the facts will dictate.

In order for an injury victim to stand the best chance of recovery, he or she is encouraged to contact a credentialed personal injury attorney. An experienced semi truck accident lawyer will be able to review the facts of the case to determine how strong the case actually is and assess the damages sustained by the injured victim to determine a fair amount of compensation to seek.

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