An accident involving an improperly loaded truck can have serious consequences. A fully loaded semi can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. If its cargo is not secured properly, devastating (and sometimes fatal) collisions can occur as a result.
If you or someone you know was a victim in an Atlanta truck accident, you should learn about your legal rights and may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer right away to have your case reviewed.
Truck Cargo Securement Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the agency responsible for regulating the trucking industry. To address the dangers of improperly loaded cargo, the agency developed a driver’s handbook on cargo securement. It provides very detailed rules that, if followed correctly, can drastically reduce the risk of an accident.
Unfortunately, these rules are not always followed by drivers or loaders for a variety of reasons. For example, a truck’s securement equipment could be defective. Whether a truck’s cargo is improperly secured or improperly loaded, it can lead to serious accidents.
Types of Accidents Caused by Improperly Loaded Trucks
Failure to load or secure cargo properly can cause many different types of devastating accidents. Some of the accidents caused by improperly loaded trucks include:
- Overturn Accidents: These accidents usually occur when a truck is attempting to turn. Loose cargo may shift and cause the truck to be thrown off balance.
- Jackknife Accidents: A jackknife accident is the result of a truck that brakes suddenly and carries a load that is too heavy. This causes the cab to remain parallel with the road while the trailer is dragged perpendicular to the road, often causing severe damage to surrounding motorists and their vehicles.
- Hazardous Material Spills: Accidents involving trucks with hazardous cargo can be extremely dangerous. These materials can spill onto roads and can cause fires or explosions.
- Spilled Cargo Accidents: These types of accidents are usually caused when cargo is secured on top of a flatbed, as opposed to inside a trailer. If not secured properly, it can fly off the truck and either cause direct damage to vehicles or become a dangerous obstacle that vehicles must swerve to avoid.
Determining Liability in Accidents Involving Improperly Loaded Trucks
In most cases, the truck or cargo company can be held liable for a victim’s injury. These companies must hire responsible drivers, ensure their trucks and other equipment are in good condition, and abide by FMSCA regulations. Failure to perform these duties could be enough to establish a negligence claim.
However, other parties may also be responsible in certain situations. For example, the driver could be held liable if they were speeding at the time of the accident. The manufacturer of a defective part could potentially be a liable party as well.
Speak with a Truck Accident Lawyer in Atlanta Today
Being the victim of a truck accident can result in serious injuries and financial losses. To learn more about your options for compensation, call us today at 888-474-9616 or contact us online.