Large trucks carry cargo across city and state lines every day. While most loads are safely secured, sometimes things go wrong. Someone might fail to load items properly, and the results can be disastrous.
Poorly-loaded freight can cause rollovers, loss of vehicle control, burns, and more. If a driver or company is not careful, they can cause severe injuries or deaths. An improperly-loaded cargo lawyer can help if you or a loved one were victims.
Our team at John Foy & Associates knows what to do. We have been helping injury victims get what they deserve for over 20 years. Also, we won’t charge you unless we win your case. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get a free consultation.
How Improperly-Loaded Cargo Leads to Accidents
Semi-trucks carry enormous loads for hundreds or thousands of miles. That means drivers and trucking companies must regularly check that the cargo is safe and secure.
If someone improperly loads truck cargo, it can lead to a terrible accident. Cargo might shift suddenly or fall off of the vehicle. Here are some accident examples.
Large trucks have a pretty high center of gravity. Compared to other vehicles, they are more likely to roll over during a crash. Unfortunately, improperly-loaded cargo can make a truck more unstable.
During a rollover accident, cargo can spill from the truck. Or, the load can suddenly shift, causing the truck to keep rolling or sliding. This can cause a lot of damages and injuries on the road.
Many types of truck cargo are hazardous to humans. If materials spill from the truck, they can cause severe injuries or worse. Spilled cargo might also cause other drivers to swerve and cause separate accidents.
A jackknife accident happens when a truck’s trailer slides towards the cab, forming a 90-degree angle. The truck starts folding in half like a pocket knife.
Jackknife accidents often happen when someone improperly loads truck cargo. Tragically, smaller vehicles or bicyclists can become trapped in between the two parts of the truck.
Knowing Who’s Responsible
If you suffered injuries from an accident with improperly-loaded cargo, you have rights. But you’ll need to know who was negligent in your accident.
The negligent party in an injury accident is responsible for the damages. But when this type of truck accident occurs, it can be hard to know who is responsible. You and your lawyer will need to investigate the root cause of the crash and your injuries.
Trucking companies must follow the cargo securement rules issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Vehicles that must follow the regulations include:
- Cargo trucks
The FMCSA updated its rules in September 2002, and there may be new updates in the future. Companies should be careful to follow all rules to avoid accidents. If not, they can face fines, or worse, if they cause injuries.
Companies must follow the rules for cargo like:
- Metal coils
- Paper rolls
- Concrete pipes
- Large boulders
FMCSA Regulations §392.9 also covers the inspection of cargo, cargo securement devices, and systems. The following parties could be responsible for poor cargo loading:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Owners of the cargo
- Third-party cargo handlers
An experienced lawyer can help investigate the details of your accident. At John Foy & Associates, we’ll determine who was at fault and what compensation you deserve. To get started today, call (404) 400-4000 for a free consultation.
What to Do After an Improperly-Loaded Cargo Accident
Accidents involving improperly-loaded cargo are often catastrophic. Injuries tend to be very severe, and multiple parties might be at fault. If you were the victim of this type of accident, there are ways you can help your case.
Trucking and cargo companies must carry large amounts of insurance for accidents. But the insurance companies will fight hard to protect their money. You will need to start building a strong case by:
- Getting medical treatment immediately
- Taking pictures of the accident scene
- Saving all records of your accident costs
- Talking to eyewitnesses
- Contacting an improperly-loaded cargo lawyer as soon as possible
- Being careful what you say about the accident
Insurance companies will often offer a lowball settlement after an accident. The company is hoping you’ll accept the money and close your case. But you should never accept the first settlement offer. Talk to a lawyer first.
Building Your Accident Case
After you call an experienced lawyer, they will start working on your case. Your lawyer will determine who’s at fault and your total damages.
The goal is to get you the fullest recovery possible. You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s carelessness.
Your lawyer’s building of your case will involve:
- Copies of the accident report
- Evidence from the scene of your accident
- Statements from witnesses
- Information about the cargo
- Activity logs or black box data from the truck
- Maintenance records and other logs from the trucking company
- Copies of your medical bills and other documents
Your lawyer will use the evidence to build a strong insurance claim. If the insurance company pushes back, your lawyer will be ready to negotiate. Thankfully, most injury claims settle during this phase.
Sometimes, an insurance company will refuse to offer what you deserve. You might decide to file a lawsuit for the compensation you need. If so, your lawyer will help you prepare for the process and answer any questions.
Don’t wait to get started. In Georgia, you usually have two years from the accident date to file your claim. Sometimes, you have less time.
Talk to an Improperly-Loaded Cargo Lawyer for Free Today
If you have injuries or lost a loved one from an accident caused by improperly-loaded cargo, contact us today. John Foy & Associates has been helping victims and their families for over 20 years. We know what it takes to win cases.
We do not charge you a fee unless we win your case. Plus, the consultation is always free of charge.
To get your free consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.