Trucking Accident Reminds Us of Two Unusual Liability Scenarios
All possible avenues for recovery should be considered in a trucking accident injury case.
About a month ago, a freak truck accident took the life of Robert Castorena. The 51-year-old longshoreman was riding his bicycle near Carson CA when a shipping container came loose from the bed of a big rig truck and crushed him to death.
Officials with the LA Sheriff’s Department are still investigating the accident to determine exactly what went wrong. However, so far it does seem to be a case of driver error on the trucker’s part.
The shipping container came loose from the truck bed as the vehicle was passing beneath a bridge. The edge of the container apparently clipped the bottom of the bridge, causing the loading straps to break and the container to fall. According to officials, the driver has said that he thought the container was shorter than it was—which would indicate that it was his failure to understand the dimensions of his cargo that caused the accident.
However, this may not be the complete story. There are other types of liability that could perhaps be explored in this case:
Improper Loading: Without knowing where the shipping container struck the bridge and how fast the truck was going at the time, it is difficult to say for certain whether the force truly was sufficient to break properly secured loading straps. The possibility that improper securing of the load may have contributed to some degree to the accident deserves to at least be explored. With access to the complete accident report, an experienced trucking accident attorney could perhaps commission an accident reconstructionist to create 3-D models to show how much taller the load was than the bridge, calculate the forces that the collision created, and compare this to the strength of properly secured straps.
Road Problems: If the bridge height was not properly signed, it is possible that the city or other organization responsible for maintaining the roads and bridges in safe condition could be liable for the accident. Perhaps the bridge had settled just a few precious inches or perhaps a sloppy job patching the roadway had raised the surface just enough to cause the container to clip the bridge. This is probably quite unlikely—especially considering the accident occurred on a designated trucking route used by many other big rigs without incident.
While these two unusual liability scenarios are probably not involved in this case, it is worth pointing them out because victims of trucking accidents need to be aware that there may be multiple types of liability involved in an accident and therefore multiple parties to target for compensation. Hiring an experienced trucking accident injury attorney like Fernando D. Vargas is an excellent way to ensure that every possible avenue is explored for your personal injury case.