Truck accidents caused by unsecured cargo

We have all seen larger trucks hauling around cargo and thought, “I wonder how secure that is?”

The reality is that commercial truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for securing any cargo on board their vehicles. Unsecured cargo can lead to accidents in a wide variety of ways. Not only can it fly off and strike other vehicles or pedestrians, but it can also lead to the driver of the truck losing control by causing a weight imbalance. Here, we want to discuss liability for accidents caused by unsecured cargo on larger trucks.

How Unsecured Cargo Can Cause a Crash

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets strict rules about securing cargo on large commercial trucks. This includes, but is not limited to, the proper use of tie-downs, anchor points, straps, weight balance, and more. The FMCSA says that “Cargo must be firmly immobilized or secured on or within a vehicle by structures of adequate strength, dunnage or dunnage bags, shoring bars, tie downs, or a combination of these.”

These larger trucks have higher centers of gravity compared to other passenger vehicles on the roadway, and this makes them inherently less stable. If the cargo inside of an improperly loaded truck shifts, this weight imbalance can cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle. This could lead to a driver swerving across lanes or skidding out of control completely. In some cases, the truck could completely topple over.

Additionally, unsecured cargo can fall completely off of a vehicle, which is more likely to occur when there is not an enclosed trailer. Any type of object that flies off of the back of a commercial truck could strike other vehicles or lead to other drivers having to take a base of actions to avoid striking the object. These evasive actions could lead to a chain of collisions on the roadway.

Who is Liable for These Crashes?

Unsecured cargo crashes could lead to significant injuries and property damage on roadways throughout Oregon. Not only could these incidents late to catastrophic injuries, but they could also lead to the loss of life or property damage.

Truck drivers, trucking companies, and third-party cargo loaders are responsible for ensuring the safety of these vehicles. In the event a collision occurs that was caused by unsecured cargo, there may be a range of parties who could be held liable and be responsible for paying compensation to injured parties or property damage victims.

We strongly encourage any person who has been injured in an accident caused by a large commercial truck to speak to a personal injury lawyer in Oregon immediately. A skilled attorney can investigate the claim, gather all evidence needed to prove liability, and handle all communication with other parties.

Some of the types of compensation that may be available for an unsecured cargo crash in Oregon include medical bill compensation, lost wages, property damage expenses, and pain and suffering losses. The total amount of compensation available for these types of accidents will revolve around the severity of the injuries, the level of property damage, how much pain and suffering a person endures, and how long a person is out of work.

Call us today to speak with a Portland truck accident lawyer.