Nobody expects the truck in front of them on the highway to drop cargo onto the road, creating a road hazard and causing an accident. It is not uncommon for trucks to be loaded improperly or for drivers to fail to notice loosely secured cargo. In the event that a trailer is improperly loaded and it causes a weight imbalance that leads to an accident, the warehouse responsible for loading the trailer could be liable for the resulting truck accident. Many of these incidents can be prevented if drivers take the time to check their cargo before hitting the road, but because many truck drivers are in a rush; this crucial step in the process is often skipped.
Shifting Truck Cargo Resulting In Imbalance, Jackknives & Injuries
All cargo will inevitably shift during transport each time the driver makes a turn, accelerates or comes to a stop. Warehouse workers are instructed to load trucks in a way that distributes the weight of the load in the trailer or on the flatbed in a manner that will reduce the amount of shift that occurs on the road. When truck drivers are required to pull into a weigh station, authorities will check to see if the cargo is over the maximum allowed weight and if they suspect uneven distribution, they may inspect the cargo.
Weigh stations are not always open, however, and truck drivers often communicate to each other on the road in an effort to hit as few open weigh stations as possible. Therefore, it is the driver’s responsibility to make sure that his or her cargo is not going to shift to one side of the trailer, where it can make it difficult to maneuver the truck and even cause a jackknifed trailer while traveling at highway speeds. Any cargo that is secured on a flatbed needs to be secured so that it will not only shift, but so that it cannot come loose and fall onto the road where it will strike a following vehicle.
Cargo Falling Off Trucks Landing On Other Vehicles Or Cluttering The Roadway
Every time that a truck pulls out of a yard and onto a roadway, the driver and the company responsible for loading the gear have a duty to all parties on the road— that the lead is properly secured. When loads are unsecured and cargo– or even the materials used to secure them fall off and either strike motorists or an accident ensures when a motorist attempts to avoid the cargo– a company is responsible.
Multiple Parties Responsible In Many Truck Cargo Accidents
If a warehouse, dock or other distribution center allows a trailer or flatbed to leave without properly verifying that the contents on the trailer or flatbed has been loaded properly, that warehouse could be held liable if the truck driver is involved in an accident due to that cargo shifting or falling onto the road. The driver is also responsible for performing his or her own safety check before leaving the warehouse or dock. Even the trucking company may be held liable for any incident that results from improperly loaded or secured cargo.
Knowing How to Proceed if you are Injured in an Accident Involving an Unsecured Truck Load
When you are involved in a truck accident that is the result of driver negligence or improperly secured cargo, knowing how to pursue damages from can be confusing. Every company that was involved in the loading and transport of the cargo will try to deny responsibility and pass the buck on to someone else. The truth of the matter is that all of the companies involved may be liable and you should talk with an experienced truck injury attorney in order to learn more about your rights.
Chicago Truck Injury Lawyers are a dedicated group of injury attorneys who understand the complexity of truck accident cases. We will help determine who is at fault for your accident and what damages are owed to you as well as the process that needs to be undertaken to collect those damages so that you can get back on your feet. Choosing us to advocate on your behalf comes at no risk to you— out consultations are free and so are our services if we are unable to win your case. The sooner you allow us to get started on your case, the quicker you can receive what is owed to you and move on with your life. Contact us today to set up your free consultation.