If you were injured in a truck collision caused by cargo-related problems, you could suffer life-altering injuries that require expensive medical treatments and could cause you to be off work for months or longer. You need to take immediate steps to protect your right to compensation for your injuries from the insurance company for the negligent trucker and trucking company.
One of the most important actions you can take to build a winning case is to hire a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your crash. Here’s why taking this step is so crucial.
Why Do Cargo-Related Truck Accidents Happen?
Cargo-related truck wrecks are especially dangerous because they can cause the truck to roll over or jackknife and cause the cargo to spill. In many cases, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules are violated when these crashes occur. Here are the most common negligent actions that lead to these deadly collisions:
- Stacking too high. Some trucking companies will stack the loads too high in an effort to get more cargo on the truck and save money. This can cause the load to fall off the truck or the truck to roll over.
- Uneven distribution. The cargo must be evenly distributed in the truck’s trailer or on its flatbed. When the load is top-heavy or unevenly distributed, it can make it harder for the trucker to slow down, make a turn, and otherwise drive safely.
- Improper securing of the load. The shipper or trucker must properly secure the goods being transported. Even if the truck driver is not responsible for loading the truck, they are required to be certain that the cargo is properly secured and remains secured throughout the trip.
- Faulty restraints. The load can fall off the truck during transport if the tie-downs, steel straps, harnesses, and other restraints used to secure the load are worn or defective.
- Cargo spills. When a truck is loaded with liquids, it can spill onto a road or highway if they are not properly loaded. This can be especially dangerous if the truck is carrying hazardous chemicals or other substances.
How a Lawyer Can Help When Improper Cargo Loading Caused Your Collision
Cargo-related truck accident claims are much more complicated than car accident cases. In addition, the injuries you suffer could be much more catastrophic, which would make the value of your claim higher. Having an experienced personal injury attorney represent you is essential if you want to receive all the damages you are entitled to under Arizona law. Here’s how a lawyer can help you:
- Investigate your crash. Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your cargo-related crash and collect the evidence you need, such as the police report, photos taken at the crash scene, witness statements, and more, that will prove the negligence of the trucker and trucking company caused your injuries.
- Send spoliation letter. In many cases, some of the proof you need to show the trucking company and trucker violated federal regulations and were otherwise negligent is possessed by the trucking company. Your lawyer can send them a spoliation letter advising them of your claim and demanding that they provide and not destroy crucial evidence that will help you win your case.
- Explain the process. If you are filing a claim with the insurance company, you need to know what to expect in your case. Your attorney will explain the steps they will take to negotiate your settlement and litigate your case.
- Law and regulations. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will understand the Arizona laws and court rules that apply to your case. They will also understand the complicated FMCSA regulations that may have been violated by the truck driver and trucking company.
- Identify liable parties. In cargo-related truck accidents, more than just the truck driver could be responsible for compensating you for injuries. A lawyer can determine if the trucking company, shipping company, truck maintenance company, and others may also face liability to pay you.
- Value your claim. Under Arizona law, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity, property damages, and pain and suffering. A lawyer who has extensive experience settling and litigating cargo-related truck accident claims will be able to accurately determine the value of your claim.
- Negotiate your settlement. The insurance company may use many tactics to try to deny your claim or pay you less money than you deserve. Your lawyer will have strategies to defeat these arguments and will have the skill necessary to negotiate your settlement with them.
- Litigate your case. If the insurance company refuses to treat you fairly or the statute of limitations, which is the deadline you have to sue, will expire soon, you would need an attorney licensed to practice law in Arizona to file your lawsuit for you and litigate your claim. While they will most likely be able to settle your case during the litigation process, you need a lawyer who is not afraid to take your case to a jury trial if this is in your best interests.
Were you or a family member injured in a cargo-related or other truck crash in Flagstaff or Northern Arizona? Our dedicated personal injury lawyers have the expertise and track record of success to make sure that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement. To learn more about how we can assist you, call our Flagstaff office or fill out our convenient online form today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.