It always makes you nervous riding behind those giant trucks carrying multiple vehicles on a highway. While you have never heard of vehicles falling off and striking other cars, you jump every time the truck goes over a bump—and you’re eager to change lanes as quickly as possible. You may have wondered: how safe are these vehicles and what should you do if the worst happens while you’re following one at 65 mph?
Determining Liability After an Accident with a Car Transport Vehicle
Like most truck accident cases, a victim will be expected to prove negligence on the part of the transport company in order to win compensation. Negligence claims must include clear evidence that the driver, company, or loader failed to conduct business with a reasonable standard of care.
Here are a few instances where negligence may play a part in your case:
- Falling vehicles. One of the biggest risks of traveling near car carriers is being struck by falling vehicles. Cars following behind transport trucks are most at risk, but if a vehicle hits the ground and continues to roll, it could strike cars traveling beside the truck or even on the opposite side of the highway. In addition, transported cars littering the roadway after a crash pose accident hazards for oncoming motorists.
- Overpass accidents. It is not uncommon for transport trucks to become wedged underneath overpasses (causing rear-end collisions for cars trailing behind), or for vehicles to break free from the truck as it travels over the bridge, dropping them onto the traffic below.
- Fires. While any collision may result in a fire, car carriers are transporting vehicles that are likely to fuel an outbreak of flames, placing the surrounding cars at risk of toxic smoke inhalation and potentially trapping victims under several tons of steel.
- Overloading. If an overloaded tractor-trailer poses a threat to other road users, imagine the potential dangers of a hauler carrying several additional vehicles. The extra weight can cause a driver to lose control of the carrier, increase stopping distance and braking time, and can turn the impact of a collision into a lethal force.
- Unsecured cargo. Trucks may lose vehicles without realizing it, causing fatal accidents without ever hitting their breaks. A carrier may hit a large pothole and lose an unsecured vehicle hanging off the back, sending the unmanned vehicle careening into oncoming traffic.
One of the first things you should do to protect yourself after a truck accident is to preserve the evidence in your case. If you do not specifically file an action for the carrier to preserve evidence, the company can intentionally destroy evidence that could force them to assume liability. Once this evidence is lost, it cannot ever be retrieved, making it more difficult to get a fair amount for your injury costs.
If you were in a collision with a car carrier, our experienced truck accident attorneys can get you the legal protection you deserve. Contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 to have us get started on gathering and preserving the evidence in your case.