Intermodal Containers in Semi Truck Collisions

The term “Intermodal” refers to using two or more means of transporting large containers of freight. These shipping containers are filled at the beginning of their journey and are unpacked once they reach their final destination. These are the containers you see bolted to rail cars or truck trailers being transported across the country or to shipyards for international transport. Because the containers are not opened until the end, the contents are more secure and are less likely to be lost or damaged.

Using a combination of shipping methods ensures the most economical transport freight and, when diesel prices drop, shipping by truck becomes more affordable. Because of the recent affordability of gasoline, we are now seeing more intermodal containers being transported by truck and train than ever before, making our roads more dangerous.

So, why is it important to determine if a semi truck that hit you was carrying an intermodal container? If you’ve been involved in a serious truck accident, it is vital to determine whether the truck was transporting an intermodal shipping container as opposed to a standard trailer. If an intermodal container is involved, an experienced truck accident lawyer may have the ability to utilize federal motor carrier regulations, federal maritime regulations, ocean bills of lading and international maritime treaties to potentially obtain settlement amounts beyond any one carrier’s single limit.  

For instance, small trucking companies often carry only one or two million dollars in liability coverage.  In accidents where catastrophic injuries occur, this is sometimes not enough to fully compensate the injured party.  If additional sources of insurance coverage can be accessed, those sources can be vital in making up the difference between a client’s actual damages and what is available to be recovered.  

In the end, bridging that gap can make all the difference in the world.  For this reason, it is vital that information regarding the trailer is captured before it is too late.  Ordinary crash reports do not typically include a place for this information to be recorded, so you should make sure to take pictures of each side of a tractor trailer if you have been in a collision and share those with your attorney immediately.

If you have been involved in a truck accident, contact the Austin Truck Accident Attorneys at Terry & Kelly, PLLC. We will make sure that the facts surrounding your collision and injury, including any identifying information about the trailer, are recorded so that your potential recovery is maximized. Contact us at 512-910-2000 to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.

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