Trucks are used to carry things that can’t be effectively moved in smaller vehicles. This includes many different kinds of goods such food, gas, and building materials. While the materials are very different, every type of cargo must be appropriately loaded and secured so that it does not shift or fall out of the truck during transport.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require that cargo be “firmly immobilized or secured on or within a vehicle…” There are more specific regulations for specific types of cargo, but the goal is to distribute weight evenly and to make sure that the goods are secure and will not shift or fall out of the truck during transport.
The Danger of Improperly Loaded Cargo
When cargo is not appropriately loaded or secured on a truck, the truck may be:
- Overloaded. Trucks that exceed the maximum weight requirements can have mechanical failures and may take longer to stop.
- Unbalanced. If there is too much weight on one part of the truck, the truck may be unstable and a rollover crash may be more likely.
- Likely to lose its cargo. Cargo that is not appropriately loaded and secured can fall off the truck. This can create a significant risk for other motorists who must risk hitting the cargo or swerving to miss it. Hazardous materials may also create health risks.
A truck accident that is the result of improperly loaded or poorly secured cargo can result in devastating injuries or fatalities.
How to Know If Improper Cargo Loading Caused Your Truck Crash
You may see cargo spilled on the roadway and immediately know that unsecured cargo was a cause of your crash. In other cases, however, you won’t be able to see what has happened in the truck and you won’t know what caused your accident to happen.
Our experienced truck crash lawyers know what questions to ask and what things to investigate to determine if the trucking company complied with all applicable regulations and safety standards. We will determine who was negligent and who caused your crash, and we will fight for your fair and just recovery if you have been hurt by someone else’s negligence.
To learn more about how we may be able to help you after a cargo-related truck crash—or any type of truck wreck—please call us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.