In 2011, there were more than 6,000 traffic crashes that involved large trucks or buses in North Carolina, according to the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. A large number of these crashes were caused by cargo that was unsecured and became loose while the truck driver was on the road. Drivers for commercial trucks have a responsibility to inspect the cargo before they get on the road. Federal regulations require that the trucking company secures the truck’s freight. Additionally, the shipper is held accountable for loading and tying down the freight.
If you or a family member has sustained an injury in a truck crash due to improperly loaded cargo, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and other losses associated with the crash.
For additional information about filing a truck accident legal claim, fill out the Free Case Review form on this page.
Causes of Improperly Secured Cargo
The government has explicit regulations regarding the loading, stacking, balancing and tying down of freight. However, drivers and trucking companies sometimes fail to properly secure cargo due carelessness or haste, resulting in catastrophic effects. Some common causes for unsecured cargo accidents include:
- Improperly loaded equipment that falls from the truck
- Inadequate tie-downs
- Truck drivers that fail to check the cargo at correct intervals
- Cargo that falls from a truck, causing a road hazard
When the freight becomes insecure and falls from the vehicle while it’s in motion, it can cause serious injuries and massive property damage. Listed below are some items that often become insecure from a truck bed:
- Large boulders
- Paper rolls
- Metal coils
- Concrete pipes
- Intermodal containers
At times, passenger vehicles can become unsecure while they are being transported on the interstate, potentially causing a dangerous situation.
Regulations on Truck Cargo
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) has a set of laws regarding cargo securement, entitled General Cargo Securement Requirements. According to section 2.1.2, “The securement system chosen must be appropriate for the cargo’s size, shape, strength and characteristics.” In layman’s terms, the truck, as well as other security measures, must have the capacity and strength to carry the cargo without any issues.
Additionally, the federal government requires that all large trucks must be in good working condition and the regulations also specify what qualifies a vehicle as ‘satisfactory’. Federal regulations also stipulate the specific forces that a cargo securement system must endure in order to be considered safe.
North Carolina Truck Accident Attorneys
Each year, thousands of people are injured in truck accidents in the United States. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident due to another party’s negligence, you may be eligible for legal and financial recourse. Contact an experienced North Carolina truck accident attorney today to explore your legal options.
To schedule a free and confidential case evaluation, complete the contact form on this page.