Falling Freight: Determining Who Is Liable When Cargo Comes Undone

Large trucks are intimidating enough; those with improperly secured large loads are particularly scary.

logging-truckJust about everything you buy at the store or have in your home has been shipped from one place to another. Boats, trains, and airplanes move a lot of consumer goods, but large trucks account for over 83 percent of the revenue in the shipping industry. With this in mind, it is no wonder the amount of 18 wheelers we see on our roadways, and no wonder that some of them are overflowing with freight.  The consequences of a log falling off the back of a truck as it races down the freeway could be deadly. If a commercial vehicle has lost part of its freight causing you to require medical attention, you should contact a Missouri truck accident attorney.

The Cause of Serious Injuries

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Commission has in its guidelines rules for securing freight on a large truck, both on a flat bed truck and in an enclosed truck. Failure to comply with these laws can cause a major collision. There of course is the obvious threat of cargo falling down and through the windshield of another vehicle, but there is also the possibility that while swerving to avoid an item that has fallen, a car can collide with another vehicle or lose control and run off of the highway. This happened to a Missouri woman who swerved to avoid a piece of playground equipment that had fallen off the back of a truck. She lost control of her own vehicle, hit the median, and then collided with two other cars. Her injuries were grave and required ongoing medical treatment. Realizing the obvious negligence by the driver for not securing the equipment properly, the insurance company settled the claim for just under two million dollars.

Loads that are not tied down correctly in an enclosed trailer are equally as dangerous. The truck driver depends on a consistent center of gravity inside the trailer to help keep it from tipping over. If freight begins to slide around during his trip, the center of gravity changes and he can lose control over the trailer. The trailer may jackknife or tip over. In either case there is now a large truck blocking traffic, potentially causing more accidents as cars come across it at high speeds.

Who Is Responsible for the Cargo?

The responsibility of securing freight on an 18 wheeler can fall onto many different shoulders. The owner of the freight may be found liable for incorrectly loading it onto the truck. Or if it was acquired at a separate location, the dock workers may be responsible for it. The driver, and ultimately his trucking company, can also be held liable for not taking the time to ensure that the cargo was secured in the manner laid out by the FMSCA.

Missouri Truck Accident Attorney

This type of trucking accident is much more complex than your typical collision as it requires extra work to decide who was accountable for the cargo and how it happened to come undone from its ties. An experienced Missouri truck accident attorney will be able to investigate and find the solution that will garnish you the maximum compensation for your medical bills and other accident related expenses.

Call Zevan and Davidson Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 588-7200.

Photo credit:  Tony Fischer Photography

Missouri Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been wrongfully injured as a result of personal injury, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.


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