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Cargo a major factor in truck accident cases

In a bizarre and tragic truck accident that claimed the life of the truck driver in Florida, the truck company is baring the blame. The truck company, Sunshine Freight Carriers, was cited by safety inspectors because the company had previous violations for unsafe handling of cargo.

In this accident, the truck driver was hauling some metal beams on a flat bed semi truck. As he was driving the 32-year-old slammed on his brakes to avoid crashing into a fire truck that was just pulling out of the station. When he applied the brakes, the harnesses holding the metal beams in place snapped. The beams then came barreling into the truck cab, plowing into the back of the truck driver's seat and ultimately crushing him.

Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the wreck, and the results of that investigation could land Sunshine Freight Carriers in a lot of trouble.

There is another aspect to this incident to consider though: a truck's cargo can play a huge role in multi-vehicle accidents. For example, the truck has to be properly loaded and it can't exceed certain weight limits. If the truck is improperly loaded, it makes the vehicle unsafe to drive. It could overturn due to being imbalanced, or it could make very difficult to brake or accelerate in a timely fashion.

When trucking companies or truck drivers fail to adhere to the rules regarding the cargo they are carrying, they can be determined to be negligent in a crash. Obviously, the situation in the story we are referencing here is different because it didn't involve another vehicle. But truck accidents that involve other vehicle and where the cargo contributed to the wreck can lead to negligence claims against the driver or company.

Source: WESH, "FHP investigating fatal semi-truck accident in Osceola County," Matt Grant, Sept. 11, 2014

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