Commercial vehicles are a common sight on Georgia roads and highways. We depend on these trucks to transport the goods we need across the country. However, there are risks associated with the trucking industry of which we should be aware.

For example, these vehicles are enormous and be loaded down with heavy cargo. Trucks carry tens of thousands of pounds of cargo, from food and animals to fuel, consumer products and machinery. No matter what materials are being transported, they must be properly loaded and secured. If this does not happen, the risk of serious injury can be considerable if and when the truck hauling the cargo crashes.

Perhaps the most serious incidents involve cargo that is, in and of itself, hazardous. For instance, cargo that is flammable, toxic or otherwise a threat to people’s safety can be a threat to people’s safety if it spills. Trucks are often used to transport these materials because it can be safer and faster to deliver them by truck versus other modes of transportation. However, when this cargo spills, people who may not even be driving can be injured or get sick if they come into contact with the material.

Even when the cargo is not dangerous, it can still create a danger if it is spilled. For example, recently in another state, a truck crashed, spilling its cargo: shoes. The shoes spilled out onto the roadway, creating traffic congestion and roadway obstacles. It can be difficult or impossible for other motorists to avoid hitting these hazards, which can lead to injury-causing collisions.

If you have been involved in a crash or other incident stemming from spilled truck cargo, you may have grounds to pursue a personal injury claim. In some cases, it can be shown that the cargo was improperly loaded or secured which made it more likely to spill. In other cases, it may be shown that the truck was overloaded with cargo or carrying unauthorized materials.

In any of these situations, it can be possible to file a claim seeking damages against the negligent or reckless party liable for the spilled cargo. Speaking with an attorney can be a good way to assess your legal options.

Source: Miami Herald, “Turnpike traffic blocked after major spill — of shoes,” Jan. 8, 2016