Seasoned Florida Truck Accident Attorneys
When the cargo on a truck is improperly loaded, it can fall off the vehicle and cause an accident. The Brooksville truck wreck lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC provide legal representation and counseling to North Tampa victims of complex truck accident cases, including crashes caused by unsafe loading. Our attorneys bring more than 50 years of combined legal experience to help you obtain compensation for your truck crash injuries. Please contact us today if you were involved in a truck accident.
Safe Truck Loading
Truck loads may threaten the safety of others on the road if they are not properly secured within or on the vehicle. Loose cargo can fall off a truck and into oncoming traffic. A truck that is overloaded with cargo can roll over and slam into other vehicles.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is the agency that governs trucks operating in interstate commerce, has issued several rules to ensure loads are safely secured on trucks. Florida has also adopted these rules for intrastate trucking activity. These load or cargo securement rules set certain criteria for proper truck loading. Among the rules are:
- Specific minimum working load limits based on the weight of the load;
- A minimum number of tie-downs to immobilize cargo in or on the vehicle; and
- Detailed requirements for transporting certain types of cargo, such as logs or automobiles.
Truck drivers and trucking companies must ensure the safe loading of cargo on their vehicles. When they fail to do so, and an accident occurs, a victim may be able to pursue a claim against the parties responsible for the crash.
Unsafe Truck Loading Liability
When a truck is improperly loaded, it is usually the result of someone’s negligence. If unsafely loaded cargo caused a truck accident, and you were injured, you can potentially hold the party responsible for loading the truck liable for your injuries.
In most personal injury claims, negligence forms the basis of liability. As the plaintiff, you would have to show that the defendant was negligent. Negligence is a party’s failure to exercise reasonable care. To prove negligence, you must demonstrate that the defendant:
- Had an obligation, or duty, to use care under the circumstances;
- Violated, or breached, its duty of care through its actions or failure to act; and
- Caused your injuries and damages due to its breach.
Several different parties may be responsible for the safe loading of a truck. A trucking or shipping company, for example, may do the actual loading, and a truck driver may be required to periodically inspect it. An investigation into the accident will determine which parties were responsible for loading the truck, and which may have failed to do their part in securing the cargo.
When Evidence Goes Missing
Truck accidents must be thoroughly investigated to determine their causes, any potential defendants, and to obtain crucial evidence. Evidence can, however, go missing. Spoliation of evidence occurs when evidence in a pending or existing lawsuit is destroyed, altered, or lost. The lack of critical evidence can make it much more difficult for a victim to prove his or her case. If a Florida court determines that evidence was intentionally destroyed, it can sanction the party that spoiled the evidence to prevent further injustice to the victim.
Compensation for Injuries in a Truck Crash
Truck accident victims may recover damages for their injuries. Recoverable damages include compensation for past and future medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and property damage. You must file your claim within four years from the date of the crash to recover damages.
Relatives of a fatal truck accident victim can initiate a claim for wrongful death. They can seek compensation for their loved one’s medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of companionship, and more. The statute of limitations for Florida wrongful death claims is two years.
Lawyers Helping Truck Crash Victims
The Spring Hill 18-wheeler accident attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC offer seasoned legal representation to truck crash victims. Our lawyers have handled a number of complex truck accident cases in Florida. We can investigate a crash to determine if improper loading was a factor, and who may be held accountable for the accident. We serve clients in New Tampa, Hillsborough County, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (866) 597-0009 to schedule a free initial consultation or fill out our online form.