The improper loading of a commercial vehicle is one of the more common causes of commercial vehicle accidents. Trucks that do not have properly loaded cargo or cargo that is not properly secured can create a risk to other drivers on the road.
Truck accidents often result in serious or catastrophic injuries for the passengers in the smaller vehicles. Additionally, due to the size of a commercial truck, these accidents often involve multiple vehicles.
Cargo Loading Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has several regulations concerning cargo loading for commercial vehicles. These regulations deal with issues including total load weight, weight per axel restrictions, how the cargo is secured to the vehicle, and how often the cargo must be checked during the time it is being transported—additional regulations pertaining to hazardous material transportation.
Common Truck Accidents Caused By Improper Cargo Loading
Truck cargo can be considered loaded improperly if:
- The cargo is overweight for the entire truck or per axel
- Proper tie-down methods were not used for cargo to secure it in an enclosed trailer
- Proper securing methods was not used for cargo on a flatbed trailer
- Correct actions were taken for hazardous material loads, including marking the trailer correctly
Trucks with improperly loaded cargo are more likely to be involved in the following types of accidents:
- Jackknife accidents due to shifting cargo
- Tip over when turning a corner
- Increasing speeds when going downhill making it harder to stop
- Loss of control when changing lanes because cargo shifts
- Tire blow outs or other mechanical failure due to over limit weight
- Falling cargo that smashes into other vehicles or pedestrians because tie-downs broke
Who Is Responsible For Improperly Loaded Cargo?
The responsible party for improperly loaded cargo on a commercial vehicle can be difficult to determine. In many cases, there are several parties that have interacted with the cargo as it was made ready to transport. The fault may be the result of one party or several. In some cases, the driver may not have anything to do with an improperly loaded truck.
Contact A Trucking Accident Attorney
Truck accidents are serious events that can cause life-changing injuries to everyone involved. The size and weight of these vehicles make them a moving weapon if they are operated incorrectly or loaded wrong. Sadly, truck accidents are also very complicated after they happen as well.
For a successful claim for compensation, you will need to be able to prove who was responsible for the truck accident. In many cases, there are multiple responsible parties. Having an attorney manage your case will ensure that all parties responsible for your accident are included in the claim.
Your attorney will also need to research state and federal laws to make sure that the trucking company was abiding by these laws when the trucking accident occurred. Your attorney will also negotiate with all of the insurance companies that will be responsible for your compensation package.
Recovering from a trucking accident can take a long time. Catastrophic injuries may require life-long care. With so much going on concerning your health, it will be beneficial to allow an attorney to manage your case.
When you hire a trucking accident attorney, they will handle all of the legal aspects of your case, including all the negotiations for your compensation package. This will give you the peace of mind that you need during such a difficult time and allow you to concentrate on the healing process.
Related article: Federal Motor Safety Regulations for Truckers