Who’s Responsible for an Unsecured Load Truck Accident?
Posted on Thursday, February 17th, 2022 at 3:07 pm
That’s a tricky question. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific regulations for loading and securing items onto the back of a commercial truck. These pertain to any cargo-carrying vehicle that contains a box, hopper, tank, or other similar device forming the structure of a truck operating in interstate commerce. These regulations dictate the amount of cargo allowed as well as how it is to be loaded, stacked, balanced, and secured.
Causes of Unsecured Load Events
A load that becomes unsecured and falls from a truck that is traveling on a highway or roadway can cause terrible injuries and damages, often to multiple vehicles and the people in them. Some scenarios that can result in an unsecured load accident include:
- Improperly loaded cargo that falls from a truck into the road
- Inadequate tie-downs to secure the load
- Negligence in the maintenance of the truck and cargo securing devices
- Hazards in the road cause a truck to lose control and spill the cargo
The state of California uses a fault system to determine who is liable in a motor vehicle accident. It’s important to figure out who is to blame for the injuries and damages caused by a crash because that party is the one who becomes financially responsible for the medical and other expenses incurred from the accident. Determining who’s at fault when an unsecured load accident occurs requires a thorough investigation because multiple parties may be involved. Some possibilities include:
The Truck Driver for:
- Engaging in reckless or unsafe driving
- Knowingly using damaged, defective, or worn-out securement devices for the cargo
- Using the wrong tie-downs for the type, weight, and length of the cargo
- Failure to adhere to weight and size limits for materials loaded on the truck
- Neglecting to inspect the truck or weigh the vehicle
The Trucking Company for:
- Failing to perform necessary routine maintenance and repairs on the truck and/or securing equipment
- Not training the driver properly on load inspection
- Neglecting to perform background checks or knowingly hiring unqualified truck drivers
- Inadequately supervising the cargo loading process
The Loading Company (if separate from the trucking company) for:
- Improper loading procedures
- Failure to meet safety requirements
The Manufacturer of the Truck for:
- Defective equipment used to secure the load or that caused the truck to fail
Sorting out this complex web of potential contributors to an unsecured load accident is much easier if you engage an experienced attorney to manage your case.
Have you or a loved one been a victim of a trucking accident? If so, Tiemann Law Firm can help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free, same-day consultation by calling: (916) 999-9000 or toll-free: (800) 712-2000.