Who Is Responsible for a Crash Caused by an Improper Load?

Our Albuquerque Truck Crash Lawyers at Buchanan Law Firm, LLC Represent Victims of Cargo-Related Truck Crashes

Who Is Responsible for a Crash Caused by an Improper Load?

Some of the most common causes of truck crashes include distracted driving, drowsy driving, and other types of driver error. However, when the cargo inside a massive, fully loaded commercial truck is not correctly loaded and secured, it can shift during transport, causing sudden balance changes. When this happens, it can make it difficult for the truck driver to maintain control. If the truck driver cannot maintain control of the truck or cargo falls out of the back of the truck, this can result in a devastating truck crash involving massive property damage and severe injuries and fatalities.

Multiple parties may be liable for a truck crash caused by an improper load, including the following:

  • The truck driver: If the truck driver fails to safely operate the truck, which causes the cargo to shift or fall off the truck, they may be liable for a resulting truck crash. For example, if the truck driver is distracted by a text or a phone call and slams the brakes to avoid hitting another vehicle, this could cause the cargo to shift or even fall off the truck. The truck driver will likely be liable for a resulting truck crash and the injuries that it caused.
  • The trucking company: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces rules and regulations related to cargo, including cargo regulations. If a truck company fails to follow these rules, including regulations for hazardous materials, they may be held liable for a cargo-related truck crash.
  • The cargo loading company: If a separate company is responsible for loading and securing the cargo, it may be held liable for a truck crash caused by shifting cargo, overloading, or cargo that comes loose.
  • The vehicle or equipment manufacturer: If the vehicle or cargo equipment produced by the manufacturer was defective, they may be liable for a truck crash.

What Happens When Cargo Is Improperly Loaded?

A range of things can happen if a truck’s cargo is not correctly loaded and secured, from shifting inside the truck to falling off the truck onto the highway. Both scenarios are hazardous, particularly if other vehicles are nearby. If the cargo shifts, causing the truck driver to lose control of the truck, this can result in a devastating rollover, jackknife, or sideswipe crash. In most cases, it is the occupants of the passenger vehicles involved in these crashes that suffer the most catastrophic injuries and fatalities. At the same time, the truck driver often walks away without a scratch. If the cargo comes loose, it can fall out of the back of the truck. Whether the cargo is a large, heavy object or hazardous chemicals, this can be extremely dangerous, not only for the vehicles in the direct vicinity of the truck but also for the neighboring communities if the chemical spill contaminates the water and soil.

What Are the Main Causes of Cargo-Related Truck Crashes?

In addition to distribution requirements, there are weight restrictions on the cargo a truck can carry. Weigh stations are set up along highways where the trucks are inspected and weighed to ensure that they are not carrying too much cargo, which can increase the risk of a serious truck crash. The following are some of the most common reasons why overloaded trucks can cause truck crashes:

  • Overloaded cargo can cause the truck’s tires to burst.
  • The weight of the overloaded cargo can cause trucks to travel too fast going downhill.
  • The added momentum going downhill can cause a great deal of stress on the brakes, which can cause them to fail.
  • The heavier the load, the longer the truck stops.
  • Overloading raises the truck’s center of gravity, which increases the risk of a rollover crash.

How Do I Prove That a Truck Was Improperly Loaded?

If you suffered an injury in a truck crash caused by improperly loaded cargo, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party or parties. To have the best possible settlement outcome, you must prove that the at-fault party was negligent and that the negligence caused the crash that resulted in your injuries. The following are examples of evidence that can help you prove that negligence was involved:

  • The truck company’s HR records provide information about the driver’s training, experience, and qualifications for operating a commercial truck.
  • Logbooks that may prove that the driver failed to check the cargo or did not comply with the Department of Transportation’s requirements.
  • Statements from witnesses about the truck driver’s erratic or unsafe driving behavior in the moments leading up to the crash.

Our Albuquerque Truck Crash Lawyers at Buchanan Law Firm, LLC Represent Victims of Cargo-Related Truck Crashes

If you were seriously injured in a truck crash caused by improper loading, do not hesitate to contact our Albuquerque truck crash lawyers at Buchanan Law Firm, LLC. We will review the crash details, determine who is liable for your injuries, and pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call 505-900-3559 or contact us online. Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we serve clients in Santa Fe and the surrounding areas.

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