Washington, D.C. Overloaded Truck Accident Attorneys
Guiding injured victims to recovery after a serious accident
Recently, the sad and shocking death of a Campbell County resident did much to raise awareness for Northern Virginia residents of the dangers posed by falling truck debris. A young mother of six children was killed by the blunt force trauma in an early morning accident in which a log smashed through the windshield of her car. A Virginia State Police spokeswoman stated the log likely fell off of a logging truck, and the truck driver likely did not know it fell off. This is just one of many hundreds of such incidents of debris falling from trucks and tractor trailers, causing serious, or catastrophic, accidents and injuries.
At the law offices of Karp, Wigodsky, Norwind, Kudel & Gold, P.A., our skilled Washington D.C. truck accident attorneys are not only passionate about representing area residents that have been injured or killed in these senseless accidents, but also in preventing future accidents by holding trucking companies responsible for damages caused by their failure to safely load their cargo for transport. We help victims of truck accidents in Washington D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.
What kinds of accidents are caused when debris falling from trucks?
Besides lumber, trucks are used to haul any number of raw materials such as gravel, concrete or steel; trucks also carry products intended for retail sale, ranging from food and furniture to potentially hazardous materials such as gasoline. Still other trucks are used to transport waste materials, both solid and liquid, for disposal or treatment.
However, regardless of what is being transported, every truck driver and trucking company has the same responsibility to load and secure their cargo according to very specific state and federal guidelines intended to prevent senseless accidents and injuries caused by falling truck debris, including:
- Flying debris that strikes and injures or kills motorists and pedestrians. Extremely large pieces of construction equipment can also roll or fall off of the truck transporting it, crushing everything in its path.
- Flying debris can also strike cars; if debris shatters a windshield, a driver’s view of the roadway and surrounding traffic can be fatally impaired.
- When solid debris falls from a truck to the roadway, accidents can occur when drivers swerve to avoid sudden obstacles. Liquid leaking onto a roadway can also cause injuries either by causing the road surface to become dangerously slippery, or simply by being itself hazardous by virtue of being flammable or toxic.
- Improperly loaded cargo may also shift during transit, causing the truck driver to lose control.
- Even large chunks of snow and ice flying from a truck during the wintertime can cause accidents
When a truck is used to haul a particular payload from one location to another, the loss of any cargo in transit is not only dangerous, but completely at odds with the purpose of hauling the cargo in the first place.
Can falling debris accidents be prevented?
Not only is the safe transportation of goods or materials a fundamental goal of the trucking industry, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set forth particular safety standards intended to keep American roadways safe from falling truck debris. Among the areas addressed by federal guidelines:
- Weight limits. Overloaded trucks are more prone to brake failure, dangerous tire blowouts, and are vulnerable to rollovers due to the higher center of gravity created when weight limits are exceeded. Trucks with flatbeds are also subject to height restrictions.
- All cargo must be properly loaded, evenly distributed by weight, and properly secured or packed with adequate dunnage, so as to avoid any shifting forward, backwards, or laterally during sudden acceleration and deceleration.
- Cargo areas and equipment must be inspected to ensure that shoring bars and tie bars are in good working order
- Drivers are required to periodically check their payload while in transit, and must record these checks in their driver log
A truck driver or trucking company failing to abide by these standards may be found liable for damages caused by falling truck debris, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages incurred due to injury.
If you have you been injured by falling truck debris, an experienced Washington D.C. truck accident attorney is ready to help
At our five area offices, we are proud to have truck accident attorneys with more than 150 years of combined experience successfully pursuing truck drivers and trucking companies who fail to safely load and secure cargo onto trucks. We are relentless in our efforts to successfully obtain evidence from companies reluctant to provide us with potentially damaging documents. And,we have a long record of successfully obtaining maximum compensation victims need to rebuild their lives after an injury. Don’t hesitate, contact us for a free consultation, either online or call us at (800) 229-7026 to learn how we can help you recover.