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Truck Accidents - Load Securement

Robert Karns

In truck accidents load securement may explain why the crash happened, and who is to blame.

In truck accidents when a tractor trailer rolls over onto a smaller passenger vehicle crushing the smaller passenger it must be examined if the tractor trailer rolled over because the cargo in the trailer was not properly secured causing the tractor trailer to roll over.

If a large tractor trailer crashes into a smaller passenger vehicle and the cargo on the flatbed trailer of the tractor trailer rolls onto the crushed smaller passenger vehicle causing further damage and injuries it must be examined if the cargo was properly loaded.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has cargo securement rules that are enforced to ensure that the cargo in the trailer can withstand forces including three types of deceleration/acceleration:

  • Deceleration in the forward direction
  • Acceleration in the rearward direction
  • Acceleration in a lateral direction

This is in existence with the FMCSA to prevent the load from shifting when the tractor trailer has to stop quickly or when taking a corner.

When the cargo in a tractor with a closed trailer is not properly secured it can cause the trailer to overturn causing the truck to overturn with the trailer because of the shift in cargo often times colliding with a smaller passenger vehicle.

When the cargo in a tractor trailer hauling a flatbed trailer with cargo not inside of the trailer but strapped to the trailer the same thing can occur with worse results as the cargo spills off the flatbed smashing into smaller passenger vehicles or causing smaller passenger vehicles to hit the cargo as it comes off the flatbed trailer.

When truck accidents occur the injured parties in the smaller passenger vehicle must identify all parties involved in the hauling, loading and unloading of the cargo in order that all liable parties are made part of the law suit.

Potential liable parties in a failure to secure load case can be as follows:

  • The truck driver and trucking company if the trucking company loaded the trailer itself.
  • The shipper if the shipper loaded the trailer and the truck driver and trucking company if they did not inspect the load.
  • The broker if the broker hired the trucking company for the shipper and the truck driver and trucking company did not inspect the load giving liability against the broker, the shipper, the truck driver and the trucking company.

All parties having anything to do with the loading or unloading of the cargo and the hauling of the cargo must be examined to make certain liability is placed against all parties.

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