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The Catastrophic Consequences of Unbalanced Truck Cargo

 Posted on April 24, 2023 in Truck Accidents

Chicago, IL Truck Crash Injury LawyerWhen most people think about the causes of catastrophic commercial truck accidents, they picture an intoxicated driver, a semi-truck speeding out of control, or a truck with malfunctioning brakes. However, the causes of some of the worst truck accidents are sometimes as seemingly insignificant as loading too much cargo on one side of the trailer.

Proper loading and securement of truck cargo is essential for the safety of the truck driver, other motorists and passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists. When freight is loaded unevenly or is not properly tied down in the truck, the truck can become off-balanced and harder to control. In some cases, a commercial truck may even tip over because of an unbalanced load.

If you or a loved one were hurt in a commercial truck accident, it is possible that improper cargo loading and securement played a role in the crash. The trucking company or the party who loaded the cargo may be liable for damages.

The FMCSA Has Established Strict Cargo Loading and Securement Rules

The average semi-truck is over 70 feet long and 8 feet wide and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. These massive vehicles are capable of causing horrific destruction in a crash. Consequently, strict rules have been enacted to reduce the chances of an accident as much as possible.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that truck cargo is loaded and secured properly. Cargo must be able to withstand the significant forces caused by high-speed travel and rapid deceleration. If a flatbed truck comes to a sudden halt to avoid a collision and the cargo on the back of the truck surges forward, the results can be deadly. Similarly, freight that shifts within the back of a tractor-trailer can cause the driver to lose control of the truck and collide with another vehicle.

Specific rules cover everything from the amount of G-forces cargo must be able to withstand to the types of securement devices that should be used to tie down truck freight. Federal law also limits the amount of cargo a commercial truck can haul. Overweight trucks are harder to stop and cause greater damage in a collision.

Legal Options for Accident Victims Caused by FMCSA Violations

Trucking companies that overload trucks or fail to ensure that cargo is properly loaded and secured are liable for accidents caused by these violations. If you were injured or your loved one was killed in a truck crash caused by an FMCSA violation, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the trucking company. 

The cost of your medical bills, lost income, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages may be covered. If you lost a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation for funeral and burial expenses, lost financial support, loss of consortium and companionship, and other damages.

Contact our Orland Park Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer

At Schwartz Injury Law, our skilled Cook County truck crash injury attorneys help truck accident victims hold negligent trucking companies accountable. We can investigate the causes of your crash and determine whether you may be entitled to compensation. We will fight on your behalf to pursue the compensation you deserve. Call 708-888-2160 for a free consultation.


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