Falling Debris from Large Trucks

There are times when a person is injured as the result of a collision with a piece of cargo that has fallen from a tractor-trailer because it was not secured properly. These accidents often involve serious harm because there is a penetration or intrusion into the passenger compartment of the vehicle. In addition, attempts to avoid the debris may lead to crashes with other vehicles on the road. When these collisions are the fault of the truck driver and trucking company because the load was not secured properly, it is possible to hold them accountable for the harm that was suffered.

The cargo in the truck should be secured in such a way that it will not exit the trailer under normal circumstances. This might mean that an open bed with loose materials is secured by a tarp that is tied down, but the trucking company and the driver must recognize and respond to situations where sturdier methods of securing the load are necessary.

There are many things that can fall from a truck and cause an accident. Even small pieces of debris that collide with a driver’s windshield and cause it to crack or break can lead to a driver swerving into another vehicle or off the road. Large items like cars falling off carriers, logs coming loose, or construction materials, including concrete forms and steel beams, sliding from a trailer bed can lead to severe injuries. If the passenger vehicle is close to the commercial truck when the cargo falls off of the truck, it can land on top of the vehicle, leading to the crushing of the interior compartment. Beams can pierce the windshield and impale the driver or passengers. Other debris may be so large that a collision between a car and the cargo can lead to damage similar to a front-end collision with another vehicle.

In addition to these items, there are many other things that can spill from an improperly secured load or a truck accident that compromises the trailer integrity, including:

  • Live animals;
  • Produce;
  • Frozen food;
  • Gravel, sand, and loose rock;
  • Cement or concrete;
  • Metal or heavy rocks, such as granite;
  • Solid waste;
  • Natural gas;
  • Crude oil; or
  • Hazardous materials.

When gas or hazardous materials spill, many people other than the drivers on the road may be impacted by the spill. The damage may be caused by vehicle accidents or exposure to the materials themselves.

There are many times when debris spills from the commercial truck after it has been involved in an accident that resulted from driver of trucking company negligence. The negligence might include reckless or aggressive driving, driving under the influence, distracted driving, or driver fatigue. In addition, there might be a crash caused by preventable mechanical failure, tire blowouts, rollover or jackknife accidents due to an overloaded or overweight trailer, or other negligent actions of the driver or trucking company.

Even when a motorist has taken precautions to avoid impact with the debris falling off a truck, the crash may be unavoidable. If this is the case, experienced truck accident attorneys will be able to work with police reports, the driver’s log, trucking company data, and possibly accident reconstruction experts in order to demonstrate who was responsible for the harm that was done.

Peter Thompson & Associates Knows How to Show Parties were Negligent

There are large truck accidents that could not have been prevented. However, there usually is someone who did not secure the load properly, drove the tractor-trailer in a negligent manner, or otherwise engaged in careless or reckless behavior leading to an innocent person’s injuries. The skilled and compassionate truck accident attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates have experience in holding the negligent parties accountable and getting the compensation that the victims deserve. Call us at 800.804.2004 to schedule an initial consultation.

Client Reviews
I feel I was treated with respect and was always 'kept in the loop' of what was happening throughout this process. I felt that I could ask any question and always receive an honest and professional response. K.L., Lewiston
Although this has been a difficult time, you have made this much easier by your thoughtfulness and professionalism. M.W., Portland
I would like to thank you for all your help, and taking the time to help me understand things. T.C., South Portland
I am very satisfied with the great people at [your office]. Especially Wendy Clark and Mrs. Mann. Very happy, very pleased. Thank you. D.M., Arundel
I was pleased with the level of professionalism and the effectiveness of your team. This was my first exposure to 'a case' and you made the process easy for me. M.D., Kittery
My brother is an attorney in New York. After my accident 2 years ago I asked him what firm I should go with. He researched and told me to call Peter Thompson and Associates. I followed his recommendation and am glad I did. From the opening bell they were timely, informative, professional AND WARM. Thank you. R.S., South Portland, ME