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Carrollton Unsecured Cargo Truck Accidents

You have had this happen before. You are cruising down the road or interstate when a sound like a gunshot hits your windshield. Luckily, in that case, it was a pebble and all of the damage you suffered was a cracked windshield.

Now, think if you are cruising down an interstate or road when a tractor trailer loses part of its cargo. It could be a piece of plastic pipe, a box of who knows what, or maybe even an entire passenger vehicle from a car carrier. Semi-trucks frequently carry loads such as lumber, logs, boulders, metal coils, concrete pipes, and massive industrial machinery and equipment. A vehicle usually strikes the debris from the commercial truck that now litters the roadway. Amazingly, an object weighing 20 pounds moving at 55 mph strikes the vehicle weighing almost half a ton! The consequences can be deadly and life-changing. If you have been involved in an accident because of unsecured truck cargo, contact a skilled truck accident attorney today.

Liability in an Unsecured Cargo Truck Accident

In 2012, Congress funded the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study on crashes involving vehicles carrying unsecured loads. The study found that all 50 states and the District of Columbia have statutes pertaining to unsecured loads on commercial trucks; however, most of the states have exemptions for certain commercial activities. The exemptions mostly relate to agricultural loads.

When a commercial trucking load shift or does something unusual causing an accident involving injuries, an experienced Tractor Trailer Wreck Lawyer should investigate both the trucking company and the business shipping the products on the truck. Who loaded the truck? Which warehouse? Can an exact piece of freight be pinpointed as causing the shift? All of this evidence needs to be preserved to ensure proper investigation.

Federal Regulations on Securing Commercial Truck Cargo

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the security of cargo on commercial trucks. The federal agency drafted the “Driver’s Handbook on Cargo Securement” in 2002. The broad requirement is that cargo must be secured in such a way that it must be secured in such a way that it stays in place “under all conditions that could reasonably be expected to occur in normal driving.” What are normal conditions? They include braking, accelerating, under windy conditions, taking turns, and in wet conditions.

Under the Federal Regulations, cargo on a commercial truck must also stay secure when the driver is making maneuvers to avoid an emergency such as another wreck or flooded road. The federal regulations require that the load be secured to the point that it will not leak, spill, blow off the vehicle, fall from the vehicle, fall through the vehicle, or shift upon or within the vehicle to such an extent that it will affect the vehicle’s stability or maneuverability.

There are a lot of products out there used to secure cargo on commercial trucks. Under federal regulations, the straps, chains, and other fasteners must sustain at least eighty percent of the full cargo weight when braking forward; fifty percent of weight when turning, accelerating, climbing a hill, or braking in reverse; and twenty percent of weight when going over a hill or bump.

Contact an Unsecured Cargo Truck Accident Lawyer

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident where a commercial truck had an improperly secured load? If so, we encourage that you contact a Metro Atlanta unsecured cargo truck accident lawyer at The Parian Law Firm, LLC to help you claim your damages and hold the at-fault party accountable.