Truck Accidents Due to Unsecured Loads

Large commercial trucks have extended heights compared to standard passenger cars but their wheelbase size is constricted by the size of traffic lanes. This leads to a high center of gravity on a relatively narrow base and a higher propensity for tipping. Because balance is critical to safety in trucking it’s even more important to ensure that the load a truck pulls or carries is well balanced and secured into place to prevent shifting.

Truck drivers have a duty under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines to inspect their vehicles for maintenance and repair requirements before the start of every trip. They also are responsible for ensuring their loads are balanced and secured into place to avoid dangerous shifts. What happens when freight loaders and drivers are negligent in their duties to ensure a secure load before hitting the road?

How Does an Unsecure Load Cause a Truck Accident?

When a truck’s cargo isn’t loaded and secured into place in a way that keeps the weight of the freight well-balanced, sudden shifts can cause accidents by doing the following:

  • Sudden load shifting and sliding can cause the trailer to tip or swing out of alignment so the drive loses control or a jackknife accident occurs
  • A shifting load can cause a rollover accident due to the truck’s high center of gravity
  • An unsecured load shifting suddenly against trailer doors can open the doors and spill cargo onto the roadway presenting a danger to approaching traffic
  • When a truck makes a wide turn, a sudden shift of cargo weight can cause a tip-over, loss of control, or jackknife accident
  • Overloaded trucks may lead to tire blowouts
  • During braking to a stop, an unsecured load can shift suddenly forward and propel the truck forward into another vehicle or into an intersection

In some of the worst cases, an improperly secured load consisting of hazardous material spills out onto the roadway and endangers other motorists.

Who Could Be at Fault in a Unsecured Load Accident?

In any commercial truck accident, multiple entities could be at fault. In an accident resulting from an unsecured load, the fault could lie with any of the following:

  • The truck driver if they are an independent contractor who failed to ensure their load was secured
  • A negligent third-party freight loading company that failed to properly balance and secure cargo
  • A negligent trucking company for inadequate hiring or training practices
  • The manufacturer of a defective product such as straps, chains, couplers, and other equipment meant to secure loads and trailers
  • A negligent truck maintenance company for faulty repairs on trailer parts, doors, and load-securing equipment

After an accident caused by an unsecured load in a commercial truck, it takes an experienced truck accident attorney to investigate the accident on behalf of an injured client to determine what negligence occurred to cause an unsecured load and an accident.

How Can a Truck Accident Lawer Help?

When an unsecured load causes a serious accident that impacts vulnerable motorists in smaller vehicles, it’s critical to investigate all aspects of the accident to determine how it happened and who was at fault. With multiple entities that could bear fault and liability for an accident caused by an unsecured load, this type of accident claim requires careful handling for the best possible outcome. Call Younglove Law Firm for experienced representation throughout the process of your claim. A successful claim can recover compensation for damages such as medical costs, lost income, and compensation for pain and suffering. It also brings injury victims a sense of accountability and justice.

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