In the bustling world of commerce and transportation, the roads are often dominated by an array of massive vehicles, including commercial trucks carrying a wide range of cargo. However, the potential hazards posed by unsecured cargo are often overlooked, leading to devastating trucking accidents. In this blog post, you’ll learn directly from an Oklahoma City truck accident lawyer at Parrish DeVaughn about trucking accidents involving unsecured cargo and how to navigate the legal aspects successfully.
Common Types of Fallen Cargo
The variety of cargo transported by commercial trucks is as diverse as the industries they serve. However, several common categories of unsecured cargo are especially prone to causing accidents:
Raw materials, such as lumber and sheet metal, often find their way onto flatbed trucks. Unfortunately, inadequate securement methods can lead to these materials becoming dangerous projectiles on the road.
Transporting household goods, including furniture and mattresses, demands meticulous attention to securement. Failure to do so can result in items falling onto roadways, posing significant risks to following vehicles.
The transportation of car parts, such as tires and drive shafts, is another common practice that requires stringent cargo securement. When not properly fastened, these parts can fall onto highways, triggering hazardous situations for unsuspecting motorists.
Causes of Unsecured Cargo Accidents
Unsecured cargo accidents encompass a range of scenarios, from cargo spills to entire loads becoming dislodged. These accidents can lead to catastrophic collisions, causing serious harm and property damage.
Several factors can contribute to an accident stemming from unsecured cargo, most commonly:
- Shifting Cargo
Improper loading practices or inadequate securement can lead to cargo shifting during transit. This sudden movement can destabilize the truck, leading to loss of control and potential accidents.
- Trucks Making Sudden Turns
Trucks making sharp turns without proper cargo securement can cause items to shift or fall, endangering nearby vehicles.
- Cargo Falling from Trucks
In some cases, cargo can fall from trucks due to vibrations on uneven road surfaces, insufficient securement, or sudden stops. These incidents often have devastating consequences for both the truck driver and other road users.
Common Types of Truck Accidents Caused by Unsecured Cargo
The consequences of an unsecured cargo accident can manifest in various ways:
- Rollover accidents: Improperly secured cargo can contribute to the destabilization of a truck, leading to rollover accidents that endanger all vehicles in the vicinity.
- Jackknife accidents: Unsecured cargo can lead to shifts in the weight distribution of the cargo being transported, exacerbating the risk of jackknife accidents— a terrifying scenario where a truck’s cab and trailer form a dangerous angle.
- Cargo spills: Cargo spilled from a truck can result from unsecured cargo, creating hazardous road conditions and impairing visibility for other drivers, which increases the likelihood of an accident.
Federal Laws Governing the Securement of Cargo
Recognizing the severity of unsecured cargo accidents, federal regulations stipulate stringent guidelines for cargo securement. These regulations are designed to prevent accidents and protect everyone on the road.
Loading Requirements Vary Depending on the Type of Truck and Cargo
Different types of commercial vehicles require specific loading and securement practices to ensure safety. Here is a brief look at some of these requirements:
- Flatbed Trucks: Cargo transported on flatbed trucks must be meticulously secured using appropriate tie-downs, chains, and covers.
- Semi-Trucks: The weight of cargo transported in semi-trucks must be carefully distributed within the trailer to maintain stability and to prevent the cargo from shifting during transit.
- Tanker Trucks: Tanker trucks used to transport liquids or gases must adhere to specialized securement protocols to prevent leaks, spills, and accidents.
Truck Drivers and Cargo Inspections
Truck drivers play a pivotal role in preventing accidents involving unsecured cargo. Drivers need to conduct thorough pre-trip and en-route inspections of their vehicles. This will help identify and rectify any securement issues before they escalate into hazards that cause catastrophic accidents, injuries, and death.
Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident Involving Improperly Loaded Cargo?
Determining liability for a truck accident caused by improperly loaded cargo can be complex. Several parties could be held responsible, including:
- The truck driver: If the driver failed to adhere to securement regulations, they can be held accountable for an accident resulting from unsecured cargo.
- The trucking company: Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring their drivers are properly trained, and their trucks are adequately loaded and secured.
- The loading company: Companies responsible for loading cargo must exercise diligence in adhering to securement guidelines.
- The equipment manufacturer: If a defect in the equipment used to secure the cargo contributed to the accident, the manufacturer may be held liable.
How an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
In the aftermath of a trucking accident involving unsecured cargo, a personal injury lawyer with experience handling trucking accident claims in Oklahoma can provide invaluable assistance. Here is how an experienced truck accident lawyer can help:
Investigating the accident: A thorough investigation to identify all liable parties and collect vital evidence is essential to building a strong truck accident case.
Calculating your damages: A skilled truck accident lawyer in Oklahoma City can assess the extent of your physical, emotional, and financial damages to ensure you receive fair compensation.
Negotiating a settlement: Your lawyer will engage with the liable insurance companies and other parties to negotiate a settlement that truly reflects your losses.
Filing a lawsuit: If negotiations prove fruitless, a dedicated truck accident lawyer will not hesitate to advocate for your rights in a court of law.
Call Oklahoma City Truck Accident Lawyers at Parrish DeVaughn
With the assistance of a skilled truck accident lawyer, victims have the best chance to receive full and fair compensation for their injuries and losses.
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we understand the complexities of trucking accidents involving unsecured cargo, and we are here to offer unwavering support, expert guidance, and tenacious advocacy to those who have been injured or lost a loved one due to these preventable circumstances.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident in Oklahoma City, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact us today for a free consultation and take the first step towards securing the compensation you deserve. Your safety and well-being are our top priorities.