While driver errors are a leading cause of truck accidents, they are also caused from mistakes made before trucks even head out on the road. If cargo is not packed and secured properly, the risk of losing loads increases. They can dislodge and tumble off a truck bed, tractor-trailer, or even off the top of a truck. When drivers become aware of loose or lost loads, but do not react appropriately, this further increases the likelihood of a crash.
The type of freight being transported can be linked to the severity of a lost load accident. A tractor trailer that is carrying flammable materials is especially hazardous, or if something large like a boat is being towed and becomes separated, the consequences can be deadly.
Regulations and Training
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has certain regulations for loading and securing cargo in vehicles that operate in interstate commerce. These apply to securing devices, such as binders and loading procedures, amongst other things. Some of these rules may specify the number of tiedowns, weight limits, and inspections.
Truckers are also required to inspect the securing devices and cargo at some point during the first 50 miles driven. If anything is not well secured, adjustments must be made. Additional checks should also be made during a trip in case anything has shifted or loosened. Before these drivers receive their commercial licenses, they undergo extensive training that teaches them what to do in the case of a lost load. Yet, even the best truck drivers can lose control when cargo is lost. If it happens on a highway at high speeds, the cargo can hit other vehicles, causing significant damage and driver injuries.
The Question of Liability
Determining liability in lost load truck accidents is not always clear-cut, since it can be due to trucking company negligence, driver mistakes, or other factors. Plaintiffs need to show that the defendant owed a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent injuries, given the circumstances, but failed to do so. As a result, this breach of duty caused the injury and damages.
Truck drivers can either work for companies or be independent contractors, and if they fall in the latter category, a company may not be liable. State laws vary but if the trucker has control of how the work is carried out, they are considered to be an independent contractor. These drivers usually provide their own vehicles, fuel, repair costs, and liability coverage.
In some cases, employers can be held accountable due to unintentional actions that were performed in the scope of the driver’s employment. For example, a company may be held liable for the driver’s actions if the driver did not follow regulations.
Edwardsville Truck Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Help Truck Accident Victims Obtain the Compensation They Deserve
Large trucks populate our nation’s highways and pose real hazards for other drivers. Contact the knowledgeable Edwardsville truck accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC if you need legal help with any type of motor vehicle crash. Complete our online form or call us at 618-277-3644 for a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients throughout Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.