A truck load accident can cause serious injuries and even death. While the average car weighs around 4,000 pounds, 18-wheelers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds or more fully-loaded. Even smaller commercial trucks like box trucks can weigh tens of thousands of pounds, and full loads can potentially add thousands of pounds to a pickup truck’s total weight.
When trucks are carrying heavy loads, they are harder to control and take longer to stop. Truck loads can also come loose—spilling cargo, garbage, and other hazards onto the roadway. These factors present major risks for other motorists; and, despite being preventable, truck load accidents are fairly common.
Most truck load accidents fall into one of five categories. But, while there are a variety of types of truck load accidents, all victims of these accidents have the same legal rights. All victims are entitled to just compensation, and they can—and should—hire a lawyer to help them hold the trucking company or shipping company accountable.
So, what is a truck load accident? The five most common types of these accidents are:
Many truck load accidents occur because the truck’s driver is unable to maintain control as a result of the truck’s extreme weight. Fully-loaded trucks are both harder to steer and harder to stop, and this limits a truck driver’s ability to maintain control and avoid dangerous situations on the road.
Imbalanced loads can also hinder a truck driver’s ability to avoid collisions. If a truck’s load is placed too far forward or too far back, this unequal distribution can reduce the traction of some of the truck’s tires. Likewise, if the truck is overloaded on one side, this can reduce traction while also causing the truck to act unexpectedly during turning or braking.
Since fully-loaded trucks are more difficult to stop, rear-end collisions involving these trucks are common. When carrying heavy loads, truck drivers must anticipate the need for additional stopping distance. This is especially true in heavy traffic and bad weather conditions. If truckers who are carrying heavy loads do not apply the brakes in time, they can quickly find themselves helpless to avoid dangerous rear-end collisions.
When drivers of 18-wheelers lose control, the risk of the trailer jackknifing with the truck’s cab is a very real possibility. The risk of the truck rolling over is a very real concern as well. Single-unit trucks such as box trucks and garbage trucks can also be at greater risk for rolling over when carrying heavy or imbalanced loads.
Another common type of truck load accident is the cargo spill, or lost load. A truck’s cargo load can end up in the roadway for various reasons, from failure to properly secure the cargo to truck driver negligence. But, regardless of why a truck loses its load, the risks—and consequences—are the same. The company that is responsible deserves to be held accountable, and those who suffer injuries deserve to be fairly compensated.
Lost-load truck accidents can also involve liquid cargo spills. Depending on the type of liquid cargo spilled, the risks in these cases can range from drivers losing control on slippery roads to combustion putting drivers and passengers at risk for life-altering or life-threatening burns. Liquid cargo spills can result from multiple causes as well, including failure to secure lids and hatches, failure to pressurize, and other similar types of failures.
If you have been seriously injured in a truck load accident, what should you do? As with any type of accident, your first priority should be to seek treatment for your injuries. Then, once you are in stable condition, you should discuss your legal rights with an attorney. Obtaining compensation for a truck load accident is very different from obtaining compensation for an “ordinary” vehicle collision, so it will be extremely important to have a lawyer with relevant experience on your side.
Were you injured in a truck load accident in Wisconsin? If so, our lawyers are here to help you fight for the financial compensation you deserve.
To discuss your case with a Wisconsin Truck load accident today, give us a call at (715) 343-2850 or request a free consultation online now. We help clients in Marshfield, Plover, and all areas of Wisconsin.