Imagine this: you’re driving down the road, and there’s a large commercial vehicle in front of you. You know that driving around big trucks is dangerous, so you keep your distance, slow your speed just a hair, and keep your eyes on the road. Then wham! – out of nowhere, something goes flying off the back of the truck, narrowly missing you. Then it happens again, but this time, you’re not so lucky.
For many drivers who are involved in accident where an unsecured load flies off the back of a large truck, the above scenario is very accurate. If you’re the victim of a truck accident caused by improperly secured cargo, here’s what you need to know:
You Have the Right to Recover Damages
Massachusetts follows a no-fault law. This means that for most minor accidents, drivers are required to seek damages through their own insurance company.
However, when injuries are severe or total more than $2,000 in medical expenses, drivers can step outside of the no-fault system. If you’ve been in an accident where unsecured cargo was the cause, you have the right to seek your full damages amount for the cost of your injuries, lost wages and future lost wages, and pain and suffering. If an unsecured load accident resulted in the death of a family member, you can file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
Who’s liable for an accident caused by unsecured cargo?
When a truck accident caused by unsecured cargo occurs, there are a number of parties who may be held liable. These parties include:
- The trucking company;
- A cargo loader;
- A cargo shipper; or/and
- The manufacturer of defective securement materials (if the materials securing the cargo broke or were ineffective, resulting in the cargo spill).
In some cases, a truck driver may be held liable if the driver was responsible for the cargo spill. For example, if the driver was responsible for checking the cargo but did not, he or she may be held liable. Or, if the driver took a turn too quickly, leading to the spill, he or she may be held liable.
How to Start the Recovery Process Today
The first steps following a serious accident are to seek medical care and file a police report. Then, as soon as you’re able, you should notify your insurance company. The next step is very important: call a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can work with you to make sure that the insurance company offers you a fair settlement amount. Or, if you decide to pursue a lawsuit, an attorney can represent you along every step of the way.
At the Law Office of Deborah Gold-Alexander, we have nearly 30 years experience in the personal injury field. Call us today for a consultation at 781-289-4235.