A semi-truck is only as secure as its cargo is. If that cargo shifts, a truck driver could lose control of their semi and flip or otherwise endanger everyone around them. Who do you hold responsible for that accident, though? Your first instinct may be to charge the driver with your losses, but other members of a truck driver’s team may be to blame.
You can schedule a free, no-commitment case consultation with BDIW to discuss how you can hold the parties responsible for a truck’s unsecured cargo liable for your losses in civil court. Our Stillwater unsecured cargo accident attorneys are prepared to help you fight for your deserved compensation.
What Is an Unsecured Cargo Accident?
The cargo that semi-trucks haul throughout Oklahoma and states beyond it must be carefully packed into a truck’s trailer if that truck is going to travel safely across state lines.
Trucks’ trailers are notoriously difficult to control. If the distribution of cargo weight destabilizes a truck further, that driver may not be able to prevent a dangerous accident.
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How Can You Take Action After an Unsecured Cargo Accident?
You need to file a personal injury claim with a civil judge if you want to take legal action against another party after an unsecured cargo accident. A personal injury claim informs the court that you’ve been in an accident and that you think negligence contributed to your losses.
Your claim specifically needs to detail the nature of your accident, the negligence that resulted in your losses, and the alleged value of those losses. You should be prepared to defend every claim you make with tangible evidence.
When do You Need to File an Unsecured Cargo Accident Claim?
Oklahoma Statute §12-95 dictates that anyone who wants to take civil action in the face of unsecured cargo accident losses must do so within two years of their accident. If you fail to file your complaint within that deadline, Oklahoma courts have the right to dismiss your right to compensation without considering the details of your case.
This means that you must compile the information you need to establish both liability and the value of your losses within that two-year period. If you’re contending with severe injuries and unable to investigate your losses on your own, turn to an unsecured cargo accident lawyer in Stillwater for help.
BDIW can work with you to better understand the scope of your losses. Together we can set an investigative schedule and stick to it with the intent of getting your complaint to the appropriate parties before your deadline expires.
Do You Need an Attorney to Pursue an Unsecured Cargo Accident Claim?
You do have the option to file an unsecured cargo accident claim without an attorney’s support. There are a lot of challenges involved in these cases, though. Addressing liability and ensuring that your estimate of your case’s value covers all of your losses is often easier when you have an attorney on your side.
If you’re concerned about the cost of working with an experienced lawyer, though, you might be reluctant to bring a professional onto your case. Fortunately, BDIW has you covered. Our unsecured cargo accident lawyers in Stillwater, OK, operate on contingency. This means that you won’t receive any bills for our legal services.
Working on contingency means our office only gets paid if we win your case. We can even point you in the direction of financial assistance that may help you contend with your most immediate, post-accident bills.
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What Damages Can You Receive After an Unsecured Cargo Accident?
The damages car accident survivors can include in a personal injury claim filed after an unsecured cargo accident can include (but are not limited to):
- Medical expenses
- Property restoration or replacement
- Lost wage supplementation
- Home assistance support
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Some unsecured cargo accident survivors may be entitled to wrongful death damages if their accidents result in the passing of a qualified loved one. Interested parties can connect with a BDIW wrongful death attorney to discuss their right to these damages during an initial case consultation.
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Who do You Hold Responsible for an Unsecured Cargo Accident?
In general, you can follow the evidence available at the scene of your accident to a conclusion regarding the accident’s fault. When you’re contending with an unsecured cargo accident, evidence kick starts your case. You need to look at video footage, bystander accounts, and expert witness statements to determine if a truck driver or related party may actually be liable for your losses.
From there, you have to consider what contracts exist between possible at-fault parties. For example, if the evidence suggests that a truck flipped because its cargo wasn’t appropriately secured, ask yourself: does the driver employ their own cargo packers, or do those packers work for a separate company?
Moreover, does the truck driver operate as an independent contractor, or are they an employee under a corporation’s umbrella? Independent contractors, be they cargo packers or truck drivers, have to represent themselves in civil court. Comparatively, employees under a corporate umbrella can sometimes rely on that corporation to protect them in court.
All this to say that while evidence may help you defend your right to compensation after an unsecured cargo accident, the real meat of the matter lies in the contracts that exist between a truck driver, cargo packers, and any affiliated corporations. Fortunately, our unsecured cargo accident lawyers in Stillwater are here to help you sort through the legal miasma.
Bring Your Unsecured Cargo Accident Questions to BDIW Law Today
Unsecured cargo threatens to destabilize Oklahoma’s semi-trucks and put motorists, pedestrians, and related parties at risk. Even so, survivors like you may be slow to recognize unsecured cargo as the source of your losses in the wake of a truck accident. Fortunately, unsecured cargo accident attorneys in Stillwater can step in and investigate your case.
You can meet with the BDIW Law team in the days, weeks, and months following a semi-truck accident to discuss how you might bring your losses to the attention of a civil judge. Our attorneys can help you file a personal injury claim and defend your right to comprehensive damages. Contact us through our online form or by calling our office today.
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