What to Do if You Are Injured by A Driver Who Did Not Secure Their Cargo.
According to Florida law, all drivers are responsible for maintaining and securing all cargo on (or attached to) their respective vehicles, while on the roadways.
Therefore, if an injury results from unsecured cargo that causes an accident on the road, negligence is typically presumed.
To illustrate, suppose you are driving in your car northbound on I-75. The vehicle in front of you is a flatbed truck that contains a bundle of metal pipes strapped down with some bungie cords and a rope.
Unfortunately, the rope was not tied tight enough to hold the pipes, and the pipes slide down and fall off the back end of the truck. You only have approximately 3 seconds to react and swerve out of the way. One of the pipes impacts your vehicle and you sustain bodily injuries due to swerving out of the way.
This is a textbook case of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor, which is Latin for “the thing speaks for itself.” In cases like these, the facts of the case are so compelling that it would be irrational to argue for anything except negligence. This is why negligence is typically presumed in unsecured cargo cases.
So, what are the practical implications of an injury claim or lawsuit involving unsecured cargo?
Keep in mind that every case is different, but the vast majority of cases where a flying object strikes a trailing vehicle results in negligence on the part of the driver who failed to secure the cargo.
Drivers have a legal duty to the public at large to make sure that all reasonable measures are taken to prevent an incident where cargo becomes unsecured.
If you were injured by an item that was dislodged from a vehicle in front of you, the defendant’s insurance company may admit liability, but can still argue your injuries were either not caused by the event or that you are not entitled to the compensation you deserve.
Go to Hale!
Our legal services come at no cost to you unless we recover compensation for your claim. Personal injury cases are our firm’s primary area of practice, so talk to our experienced attorneys regarding your case as soon as possible after a crash.
If you were injured due to a driver’s negligent failure to secure their cargo, call our office for a free consultation at 941-735-4529.