Tractor trailers carry heavy loads across New York. They may carry logs, siding, toxic chemicals, and more. Any cargo that is not secured can turn into falling debris. This may not sound like a big deal, but at high speeds, falling debris can become an extreme hazard to others on the road. Serious injuries and even death can be the result of accidents caused by falling debris. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a collision involving falling debris, an experienced Syracuse truck accident attorney can potentially help you take legal action.Falling Debris
Falling debris from trucks can include loose rocks, gravel, metal beams, logs, live animals, toxic chemicals, solid waste, produce, frozen food, and more. Any cargo a truck driver is carrying should be secured with braces, chains, winches, and other devices. Interstate truck drivers must abide by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, which provide precise rules regarding the securing of cargo.
Unfortunately, many drivers are involved in serious accidents as a result of falling debris. When vehicles are traveling at high speeds — and even when they’re not — falling debris can result in cracked windshields and crushed cars. Improper loading of cargo is a primary factor behind many truck accidents, and it can involve loose tiedowns, damaged systems of securing cargo, inadequate securing of heavy cargo, and failure to meet the minimum tie-down requirements. However, falling debris can also result from other causes as well, including a truck driver’s distracted driving, taking a turn too sharply, alcohol or drug-related impairment, or aggressive driving.
In order to establish a truck driver’s negligence, you’ll need to prove: (1) the truck driver owed you a duty of care, (2) the truck driver breached the duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. A truck driver’s failure to use the appropriate number of tie-downs or failure to check for loose tie-downs may constitute a breach of their duty of care, for example.
Often there are multiple parties involved in a truck accident, and it’s important to investigate all causes that contributed to the accident. Others who may bear responsibility for falling debris can include a loader that improperly secured the cargo, the trucking company, or the manufacturer of a securement system.
Falling debris can cause drivers to suddenly swerve in order to avoid the debris. Additionally, the debris itself may release toxic materials or create a slick on the road that is dangerous to everyone in the vicinity. Often there are multiple accident victims, and they may all be claiming against the truck driver’s insurance policy. It is critical to bring in all potentially responsible parties, and a seasoned truck accident lawyer can assist you in identifying these individuals and entities.Damages
If you are able to establish liability, you may be able to recover compensatory damages. These are damages intended to put you back in the position you would have been in had there been no accident involving falling debris. The extent of damages available in your case depends on the injuries involved. Often, in these types of truck accidents, victims are left with life-changing injuries such as nerve damage, paralysis, traumatic brain injury, broken bones, and amputation. The costs of treating these injuries can be significant, and it’s important to retain counsel that brings in all appropriate parties and can fully present the scope of your damages to insurance adjustors and a jury. Damages may include both economic losses like lost wages and medical bills, as well as noneconomic losses such as lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment. If a loved one dies as a result of a falling debris truck accident and liability is established, survivors may be able to recover wrongful death damages.Consult a Skilled Truck Accident Attorney in Syracuse
If you or a loved one were harmed by falling debris in Syracuse, you can consult a seasoned truck accident lawyer. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents accident victims in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York, including in Ithaca, Cooperstown, Herkimer, Canandaigua, Auburn, Lyons, Watertown, Elmira, Wampsville, Utica, Lowville, Oswego, Oneida, and Binghamton. Call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.