When a Commercial Truck Causes an Accident: Failure to Secure a Load
We need large commercial and semi-trucks to deliver our goods to market and they crisscross our nation’s roads and bridges in order to fulfill our needs. This means that passenger vehicles share the roads with large trucks every day. With the obvious size difference at play, accidents between passenger vehicles and commercial trucks can be deadly.
There are many causes of commercial truck accidents but today we are going to talk about truck accidents caused by failure to secure a load.
What is failure to secure a load?
Commercial truck drivers transport all kinds of goods. It is the truck driver’s responsibility to ensure that their load is properly loaded and secured in order to keep it from falling off the truck and onto the road. The driver’s employer is therefore responsible for training their drivers on how to inspect their cargo to make sure that it has been loaded and secured properly.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates the trucking industry, mandates that truck drivers secure loads to make sure that the load can resist forward, backward or sideways movement. There are different requirements for securing a load, depending on the cargo being transported. Some common requirements include the use of wedges, chocks, cradles or a tie down with straps, chains, webbing or ropes.
When a truck driver’s load falls off because they failed to follow the rules or because their rear doors opened from a shifting load, it can cause a very dangerous situation for other nearby drivers. This is true whether the trucker is transporting large, heavy items or a pile of small items.
If you or a loved one was injured because of a truck driver’s failure to secure a load, contact a truck accident attorney as soon as you are able. The attorney can discuss your legal rights, identify the at-fault party (whether that be the trucker, the trucker’s employer, the shipper, the broker, or the company that loaded the cargo) and may be able to help you recover damages. Because there are so many different people or businesses that could be responsible for the accident, it is best to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer who can help build a case against the at-fault party.
Failure to secure a load accident statistics
A 2016 report by AAA, found that debris on roadways was responsible for more than 200,000 traffic accidents across the US between 2011 and 2014. These accidents caused about 39,000 injuries and 500-plus deaths. Two-thirds of these accidents occurred because of unsecured loads falling onto the road or onto vehicles – the force generated by a falling object from a moving truck is powerful. The remaining one-third of the accidents caused by road debris happened when the driver swerved hard to avoid hitting the debris. Either way the accident was caused, the results are often serious for the people in the passenger vehicle.
Seek the help of a truck accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced truck accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!