If you are like most people, you probably get slightly nervous driving behind an eighteen-wheel truck carrying cargo. Although it is rare, cargo and debris falling off the back of a truck is extremely dangerous. Motorists who run over cargo can spin out of control and crash, often causing other cars to be involved in the accident as well. Other times, cargo can fly out and hit the windshield or body of a vehicle, damaging it. Trucks can become unbalanced when cargo shifts inside the vehicle and topple over. In the most tragic cases, some motorists are severely injured or even die in accidents caused by shifting cargo.
Federal Law Mandates That Trucks Have Cargo Properly Secured
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency which regulates the U.S. trucking industry. In 2004, the agency updated it rules regarding the transportation and securing of cargo in order to reduce the number of accidents caused by cargo shifting or falling from commercial motor vehicles. Cargo must be firmly secured by structures of sufficient strength such as wedges and tiedowns. Additionally, inflatable bags or other materials should be used to fill space between pieces of cargo and the walls of the truck so that cargo cannot move around during transportation. Trucking companies who fail to take appropriate securing measures can be held liable for accidents caused by shifting cargo.
Shipments that have not been properly secured can cause serious problems for both the driver of the truck and other motorists and pedestrians. When cargo shifts inside the trailer of a truck, the truck can be thrown off balance. This can result in the truck crashing onto its side or causing a jack-knife accident – when the front tractor comes in contact with the trailer and the truck folds like a pocket knife. Eighteen wheel trucks can weigh up to a massive 40 tons even without cargo. In a truck accident, anyone nearby is at risk of being injured or killed. In most instances, an independent investigation conducted by expert analysts is required to determine whether or not a cargo shift caused an accident.
Contact Us for Assistance
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of loose cargo on a truck, you may be entitled to compensation. Do not hesitate to contact a San Jose truck accident lawyer so that an investigation can begin as soon as possible. Call 408-293-7777 for a no-obligation confidential appointment at the Law Office of John J. Garvey, III today.
While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with the attorney, please call at 408-293-7777 or complete the intake form below.