Fire crews in Spokane recently contained a fuel spill from a commercial vehicle that crashed in Spokane. The spill occurred after two semi trucks crashed. At the time the accident occurred, both semi trucks were traveling south. One of the trucks was unable to stop and rear-ended the second truck, which was stopped for traffic. Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident. It is estimated that as a result of the accident, 500 gallons of fuel spilled. Additional details about the accident are still under investigation.
While it can sometimes be humorous when trucks spill unusual freight, accidents involving spills have the potential to seriously jeopardize the lives of others on the road. These accidents are particularly dangerous when trucks are carrying hazardous materials or when spilled cargo leads to collisions among other vehicles. In addition to the severity of many of these accidents, it can also be particularly challenging to determine liability. If you have been injured in a truck accident, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney right away.
Causes of Truck Cargo Spills
Truck accidents involving cargo spills are most dangerous when a truck is carrying any substance that is toxic, flammable, or hazardous in any other way. When trucks spill gasoline, the liquid is at risk of catching fire and potentially exploding, which can greatly jeopardize the lives of many other people on the road.
Many of the causes of truck cargo spills are associated with loading errors on the part of truck drivers, trucking companies, or third party service providers. While there are regulations in place designed to make sure that cargo is safely loaded, companies do not always properly load materials.
How Cargo can be Negligently Loaded
Loading cargo is a complicated process that requires unique knowledge and understanding about the various state and federal regulations that apply. Many larger trucking companies even hire workers whose sole responsibility is to make sure that cargo is properly loaded onto trucks. Each year, a large number of cargo accidents occur because these loaders are careless or negligent. Some of the most common ways in which workers are known to negligently load cargo include:
- The cargo is not properly secured by the loader, which causes the cargo to shift around in the trailer when the vehicle turns
- Trucks are loaded with more cargo than they are capable of safely handling. Companies often place too much weight in vehicles despite federal regulations that are designed to prohibit this type of activity from occurring.
- Trucks can be underloaded with cargo, which primarily occurs when trucks are carrying liquid freight. Being underloaded when carrying liquid results in the cargo moving disruptively around inside the tanker and can lead to jackknife accidents.
Speak with an Experienced Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident in Spokane, an experienced attorney can help determine whether the cargo was negligently loaded or if any other negligent condition contributed to the accident. Contact West Law Office today to schedule an initial free consultation.
(image courtesy of Ale Sat)