If you’re driving down the road next to a truck with a large load tied to the bed, do you know for sure that it’s safe and secure? For Michelle Marx, she’ll never assume that to be the case ever again. Attorney Scott Bennett was proud to represent her truck accident case in which her vehicle was struck by a piece of sheet metal that fell off a flatbed truck.
The damage to Marx’s vehicle was extensive, with a huge gash in the passenger side of the car running from the leading edge of the rear passenger door all the way back to the rear edge of the trunk. “Sliced it like a butter knife,” she described it. “My girlfriend was sitting right there on the passenger side and we didn’t even know what hit us. Thank God we’re alive because her head could have been decapitated.”
The truck belonged to Metals USA, but was operated by Ryder, a massive trucking company with operations that reach around the country. Lawyers from Ryder’s insurance company initially offered her a settlement of just $8,500, which would most likely not have been enough to cover the costs of fixing the vehicle, let alone the huge hit in vehicle value she would sustain.
Attorney Scott Bennett agreed and fought to have her vehicle declared a total loss and have it replaced completely. “You don’t expect driving down Roosevelt Boulevard to be hit by a flying piece of sheet metal coming off the back of a flatbed truck. It’s indefensible,” he told reporter Nydia Han of the WPVI in New Jersey.
Ryder did eventually agree to declare the vehicle a total loss and compensated Attorney Bennett’s client for the full value of her vehicle, which was above $25,000.
If you have something attached to your car, be it a huge load of commercial materials or something as simple as a bicycle on a roof rack, you have a legal duty of care to ensure that the cargo is secured. “If a load does come off, it shifts, it leaks out onto the highway, that is a summary offense,” said New Jersey State Trooper Timothy Greene to WPVI.
What you may not realize is that winter weather could also leave you with an added cargo load that you don’t realize: ice and snow. Both of these substances have been found to damage other vehicles if they become dislodged and fly off your car while driving, including being capable of shattering windshields.
If you have been injured as a result of a loose cargo load coming off a vehicle, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced Philadelphia auto accident lawyer from The Beasley Firm, LLC! Call us today to request a free initial consultation.
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