Commercial trucking remains a vital component of the economy. An untold number of trucks travel through and across West Virginia to deliver valuable cargo. Unfortunately, problems may arise when the cargo needs to be secured correctly. Tractor-trailers are heavy vehicles that require a driver’s expert ability to handle them. Issues with poorly stowed cargo may lead to operational troubles and a potential accident.
Troubles with cargo
When workers load the items, cargo finds its way inside a trailer or on an open bed. Once put in place, workers must secure the cargo so it doesn’t move around. Cargo that slides around could undermine a driver’s ability to control the vehicle. One potential problem would be jackknifing, where the trailer moves to make a V shape with the cab. Cars could crash into a jackknifing truck, or its trailer may hit vehicles when it moves.
Other cargo-related issues could include the truck’s inability to handle properly on the road or when going up or down a hill. Sometimes, there may be too much cargo inside the vehicle. Exceeding the maximum hauling capacity might make braking difficult, increasing the risks of a crash.
Liabilities and overloaded cargo
Truck drivers, trucking companies and any other party involved with the loading, maintenance and operation of a tractor-trailer could be liable for injuries if their negligence causes someone harm. Deliberately loading a truck carelessly to get the truck on the road faster or overloading the vehicle to cut costs might be negligent actions. Victims may file a lawsuit after suffering injuries from commercial truck accidents.
Overloading a truck could wear down the tires or cause problems with the suspension. Allowing a mechanically troubled truck on the road might also be legally negligent. So, a driver and others’ actions may leave them liable for a civil claim in many ways.