Truck Accidents Due to Improper Loading
Trucking accidents can be caused by many reasons. Poorly maintained vehicles, driver fatigue, intoxication, and improperly loaded cargo are some of the most common accident catalysts. If you were injured in a trucking accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses.
Semi-trucks and large commercial vehicles transport 71% of the cargo moved across the country at a value of about $700 billion. That is a massive amount of freight moving across the country every day.
The drivers who transport this material and the companies they work for are responsible for the trucks they drive and the cargo they carry. If a load shifts or falls off the truck because of improper loading, the accidents it may cause could be devastating.
Hundreds of serious accidents are caused each year due to improperly loaded cargo. These accidents can occur if a load is too top-heavy or if the load is not secured tightly enough. Improper cargo loading is dangerous for everyone sharing the road.
Secure Cargo Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is an organization dedicated to commercial and semi-truck safety. According to the FMCSA, drivers must properly secure the following:
- Cargo Securing Equipment
- Spare Tires
Securement prevents your cargo from moving during transit, and unsecured loads could spill onto the road causing horrible accidents. Managing a vehicle with unsecured cargo is delicate and dangerous, and that’s why it’s imperative for truck drivers to secure their load before traveling.
The FMCSA has strict requirements for the proper securement of cargo. For example, the FMCSA stipulates that truckers use a specific type of tie-down in a specific location. Also, items placed adjacent to one another have to be secured with transverse tie-downs so that the objects have direct contact with each other or so that they will not move in transit.
New Jersey Cargo Securement Responsibility and Liability
New Jersey truck drivers are always responsible for ensuring their cargo is safe, even if they were not responsible for loading it. The FMCSA requires that a securement system is in place and that drivers know how to properly execute it because unsecured cargo increases the risks of deadly accidents.
Trucking companies may also be liable if their unsecured cargo leads to an accident. In addition, trucking companies are responsible for the conduct of their employees, and if a driver violates federal regulations and causes an accident, injured victims may hold the employer liable for their damages.
Shipping companies or property brokers could also be responsible when loading the cargo onto the truck. An unsafe load that leads to an accident could prompt victims to hold these parties responsible as well. Many different parties could have contributed to your trucking accident, so speak with a New Jersey truck accident lawyer about who’s liable for your claim.
Improper Loading Accident Causes
Overloaded, improperly loaded, and unsecured cargo increases the risk of a cargo-related truck accident. Improperly secured cargo accidents may happen due to the load’s instability and unpredictability.
The instability of the load could lead to a rollover which may cause a dangerous spill and create hazards for oncoming drivers. Load instability will also make maintaining control of the truck very difficult, increasing the likelihood of accidents and injuries.
Many factors may contribute to your cargo-related truck accident, including speeding, because the weight and management of the cargo load will affect the vehicle’s performance. Also, the weather, specifically high crosswinds, can make an overloaded or improperly loaded truck less safe and more susceptible to accidents.
Finding Fault in a Truck Accident Caused By Improperly Loaded Cargo
Successfully winning your claim or settling for a desirable amount will be dependent upon your ability to prove that the accident happened because of an improperly secured cargo load. The adept Newark truck accident attorneys at Goldstein & Goldstein can help you gather evidence, interview witnesses, and secure the proper documentation you need to defend your claim.
Your New Jersey trucking accident attorney can offer advice on collecting the cargo loading records of the vehicle involved in your accident, as well as the logs that corroborate that the driver neglected to check the cargo. Contact Goldstein & Goldstein right away to protect your right to compensation before it’s too late.