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Truck cargo spills are no laughing matter for victims

When we read about truck cargo spills in the news, it is often in a slightly amusing context. This is because the cargo itself may present an opportunity for some jokes about motor vehicle safety. As this article on cargo spills illustrates, spilled beer can invite drinking and driving puns; ice cream spills lead to rocky road puns; a shipment of mackerel that spilled can be referred to as "a fishy situation."

However, oftentimes, cargo spills are anything but funny. To begin with, spills typically stem from truck crashes, which have the potential to be catastrophic due to a truck's size and weight. Further, the cargo itself can present a serious risk to the safety of people in the area.

The potential for serious injury and damage can vary based on what a truck is carrying. Commonly transported cargo includes:

  • Animals
  • Large items, like cars
  • Smaller goods
  • Fuel
  • Toxic chemicals
  • Explosives

Explosives, toxic materials and fuel can be very harmful to the environment and may lead to fires and explosions. Animals can be injured, escape and/or hurt people by biting, stinging or charging them. Large and small consumer goods can litter roadways, causing secondary accidents when people try to avoid driving into or over obstacles.

Yes, there are some cases when a cargo spill results in little more than a funny story in the news, thankfully. However, there are also cases when cargo spills result in serious damage and injuries.

In the latter of these two situations, it can be crucial for victims and their families to understand what or who caused the incident. In cases where the spill can be attributed to careless driving, improper cargo loading or other types of negligence, there may be financial compensation available. 

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