Trucks with unsecured loads pose a significant danger to other drivers and cars on the road. Debris that follows from a truck’s unsecured load can hit another vehicle or even another pedestrian alongside the road, which can result in significant injuries or even deaths. Furthermore, these unsecured loads can lead to accidents causing significant property damage. If you are injured by loose cargo falling off of trucks in Vegas, a truck accident attorney at the Ladah Law Firm can help you recover damages. Call us at 702.252.0055 for a free consultation.
According to data collected from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010, unsecured loads and road debris caused 440 deaths and 10,000 injuries in more than 51,000 incidents. These figures involve only non-commercial vehicles carrying unsecured loads. A study performed by the Government Accountability Office reports that the exact number of crashes involving unsecured loads is unknown because there is “no mechanism for distinguishing road obstructions resulting from human error, such as an unsecured load, and those involving natural elements such as a fallen tree.”
To ensure the safety of commercial vehicles carrying loads, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has enacted regulations governing securing cargo on commercial vehicles. There, however, is not a similar set of regulations for non-commercial vehicles carrying cargo. Rather, it is up to each state to pass laws and penalties for operating with an unsecured load. As of 2010, only 15 states had laws governing non-commercial vehicles operating with unsecured loads. Even fewer states (10) had safety education programs teaching drivers on how to secure loads.
When regulations are breached, the breach is not only unsafe, but also against the law. As such, a trucking company that breaches regulations may face penalties, and may also be held liable for the breach results in a crash that causes injury to another.
Fortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has enacted various regulations to ensure that cargo is properly secured on commercial vehicles. Depending on the type of cargo, commercial vehicles must take proper steps to ensure that cargo is secured and routinely inspected. While the FMCSA has passed regulations concerning securing cargo loads for commercial vehicles, this does not necessarily mean that the regulations are followed. In fact, the regulations are often not followed, which can place other drivers and pedestrians at risk.
It’s not hard to imagine how an unsecured load could cause a collision. The most obvious way is an accident caused by cargo literally falling off of, or out of, the truck that is carrying it. If cargo falls onto the road, the damage can be catastrophic, with vehicles being immediately struck by the cargo, or attempting to swerve to avoid cargo, resulting in collisions with other cars.
In addition to cargo falling directly off of a truck, the other way that an accident may be caused by improperly loaded cargo/an unsecured load is a cargo shift within the body of the trailer-tractor. When this occurs, the shift in cargo may mean a shift in weight so significant that the trailer swerves, jackknifes, or even flips over. In the mildest of cases, it may simply be more difficult for the truck operator to control the vehicle, which in itself can be dangerous and increase the risk of a crash.
When an unsecured load causes a collision, the effects to those involved in the crash can be significant. Indeed, injuries might include:
These injuries can be fatal. When they are not fatal, they can result in permanent disability and disfigurement. This may mean lifelong in-home care, loss of work, and the development of psychological conditions, not to mention the huge expense of health care. When accidents like these occur, victims deserve to be paid the full extent of economic and noneconomic damages they have sustained, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
As mentioned above, an unsecured cargo accident may be caused by a range of factors, from improper loading a securement to failing to routinely inspect cargo to even improper driving techniques, like taking a turn too quickly for conditions. Liability is based on negligence, and therefore the party who may be responsible for paying a victim’s damages might be:
Keep in mind that if the truck driver was to blame for the accident, the trucking company may be held liable regardless per the theory of vicarious liability.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by an unsecured cargo load, the Ladah Law Firm’s Las Vegas truck accident attorneys can protect your rights. The Ladah Law Firm employs a team of experienced truck accident attorneys who can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact Ladah Law Firm’s unsecured truck accident lawyers in Vegas today for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. You can call us at 702.252.0055.
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