How Truck Cargo May Cause an Accident

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Most truck accidents happen because one of the drivers involved—either the truck driver or the driver of the passenger car—does something dangerous and negligent. While it’s much less common, there are accidents that are caused by truck cargo rather than drivers’ actions. Here’s how truck cargo cause accidents.

It’s Improperly Loaded or Secured

One of the easiest ways for truck cargo to cause an accident is when the cargo is improperly loaded or secured. When cargo isn’t properly loaded, it may shift while the commercial truck is in motion. Most commonly, this change occurs when the truck stops suddenly, or when going around a curve.

Cargo is often very weighty, a change in cargo can cause an entire truck trailer to sway from side to side, or even to tip over. In fact, load shifts have been behind approximately four percent of 18-wheeler accidents, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If cargo isn’t secured, it may also fall off of the semi onto the road, impeding the path of another vehicle and causing an accident.

The Cargo is Dangerous

Another way that truck cargo can cause an accident is when the cargo that’s loaded is dangerous and isn't up to standard. For example, explosive materials must be loaded in a specific way to prevent combustion. If materials are not correctly placed on a commercial truck and are dangerous, a fire or other serious event could occur, causing a Hazmat truck accident.

How to Prove that Cargo Caused a Truck Accident

If you believe that the truck cargo was the reason for a vehicle accident, you’ll have to show it to recover damages.

The parties who may be held liable for damages include the following.

  • Cargo Loader
  • Cargo Shipper
  • Trucking company


Liability will be dependent upon the particular cause of the accident.

You can prove that the cargo was the reason for a truck accident, and your injuries, through the following pieces of evidence.

  • Police reports
  • Witness testimony
  • Cargo loading/shipping reports
  • Sometimes, video evidence may also be available that can help to prove how and why an accident occurred

Meet with a Truck Accident Attorney

The statute of limitations for filing a truck accident personal injury suit is two years in Washington. To get to work on gathering evidence and proving liability today, call the attorneys at Max Meyers Law PLLC. We can help you to demonstrate that cargo caused your accident and injuries! Reach us at 425-399-7000 now.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.