Whether you are the driver of a commercial vehicle, such as a cargo truck or a passenger vehicle, it is your duty to secure any cargo inside or outside your vehicle. Failing to do so could result in objects falling into the roadway or directly onto other vehicles and causing an accident as a result.
You may choose to pursue a lawsuit if you or a loved one was involved in an accident caused by another vehicle’s unsecured cargo. Call Loncar Lyon Jenkins today for more details about how a Lubbock accident caused by loose objects lawyer may be able to assist you in the aftermath of a collision caused by unsecured cargo. Our car accident lawyers know how to pursue compensation for clients hurt in auto accidents.
Securing Cargo Is a Non-Negotiable Duty of Professional Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) details the rules that commercial drivers and their employers are bound to when it comes to securing their cargo. Some of the rules for proper securement pertain to:
- How to secure the tie-downs that hold certain types of cargo in place
- How to lubricate rub rails that contribute to the securement of cargo
- Rules about the use of marked versus unmarked tie downs
- Rules regarding “anchor points,” which may be used to secure tie downs
- How drivers should use dunnage bags, which are inflatable bags used to fill the space between cargo, to help keep cargo in place during transit
- Where to place cargo on a commercial vehicle
- The minimum number of tie-downs that a vehicle must have to secure a load
Commercial vehicle drivers may interact with heavy cargo on a routine basis as part of their job, and ensuring that the cargo they haul on any given trip is secure is a safety priority. Being aware of the rules for proper cargo securement and following those rules to a T on a regular basis is not an option for commercial drivers but a requirement.
When a commercial driver fails to secure a load, it is possible that:
- The load will fall from their vehicle directly onto another vehicle adjacent to or behind the truck
- The load will fall into the roadway, causing vehicles trailing the truck to have to swerve to avoid the cargo or crash directly into the cargo
- The cargo load will shift on the vehicle, causing the truck to make dangerous movements because of unsafe weight distribution
- An accident causing injury or death will be the direct result of the unsecured cargo
If you or a loved one suffered an injury because of an accident caused by unsecured cargo, then a Lubbock personal injury lawyer from our team may be able to help you seek compensation. Call Loncar Lyon Jenkins today for a free consultation about our legal services.
877-239-4878Available 24/7 | 356 Days | se habla español
Passenger Vehicle Drivers Need to Secure Cargo Too
Commercial vehicle drivers are not the only ones responsible for securing their cargo. Those who drive any vehicle with cargo on the interior or secured to the outside of the vehicle have a responsibility to ensure that items do not fall into the roadway.
Virtually any type of vehicle may be able to carry cargo in some capacity. You need to ensure that items you are carrying inside or outside of your vehicle are secured regardless of whether your vehicle is a:
- Another type of passenger vehicle
The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) notes that all 50 states have statutes governing vehicles that carry unsecured loads. A violation of these rules generally results in a fine but can lead to imprisonment in certain situations.
The GAO cites National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) figures that document approximately 51,000 accidents and 440 known fatalities resulting from accidents caused by unsecured items in 2010. The risk of operating a vehicle with one or more improperly secured items can be deadly, and those who take this risk may be held responsible for the damage they cause.
A Lawyer May Be Able To Help You Seek Justice for Your Accident-Related Losses
A lawyer may aid your pursuit of justice against those who have caused you or your loved one to suffer an injury. The circumstances of your accident will matter when determining who is at fault for your losses, but possible defendants may include:
- The driver of the vehicle with an unsecured load
- Any employer of the driver whose unsecured load caused your accident
- A vehicle or parts manufacturer if structural issues contributed to a load becoming unsecured
- Any other party whose actions or failures contributed to your accident
Upon identifying the defendants to name in your lawsuit, your lawyer may proceed with further legal action. This may include:
- Filing your lawsuit in the appropriate legal venue
- Taking steps to notify those named as defendants of your impending lawsuit
- Obtaining documentation of your injuries, which could be evidence of the harm that your accident caused
- Collecting and organizing evidence of your accident
- Hiring expert witnesses to provide testimony on your behalf
- Collecting eyewitness testimony
- Contacting attorneys for defendants in your lawsuit to negotiate a settlement
- Completing a trial if need be
Your lawyer may defend your rights and seek compensation that you both deem fair. Your accident-related losses could include:
- Expenses related to medical care to date
- Future care and treatment related to accident injuries
- Lost income and diminished earning capacity for severe injuries
- Property damage
- Permanent disability and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
These losses will be the anchor for your lawyer’s settlement negotiations and trial-related goals. Our legal team knows how to handle auto accident cases and hold the liable party responsible. This includes documenting your expenses and losses with evidence such as:
- Relevant medical records
- Medical bills
- Estimates for repairs or vehicle replacement
- Income documentation
- Other paperwork
This evidence is in addition to what we gather to develop a compelling case against the responsible party who caused your vehicle accident. This investigation requires us to take many steps to identify, collect, and analyze evidence to determine what happened and each party’s role. These steps could include:
- Identifying and interviewing accident witnesses
- Obtaining the police report, medical records, and other official documents
- Working with accident reconstruction teams
- Gathering any photos from the scene or video of the crash
- Surveying the crash scene
- Hiring experts to document prognosis and future care needs
The available evidence should allow us to better understand who and what caused the accident. Generally, this points to the liable party or parties in the crash. Often, this is the driver who lost the loose objects or cargo.
When the at-fault party is a commercial driver or worker tasked with securing cargo, their employer is also vicariously liable in most crashes. This is because of a legal doctrine, respondeat superior. The doctrine applies when an employee acts negligently while on the job. State law lets us build a case and demand compensation from the company’s liability insurance carrier. This policy is often much larger than any one individual driver would carry.
877-239-4878Available 24/7 | 356 Days | se habla español
Call Loncar Lyon Jenkins Today
A Lubbock accident caused by loose objects lawyer could be a significant asset to you or a loved one who is seeking compensation after a collision. Call in the Strong Arm by calling Loncar Lyon Jenkins today, or use our case evaluation form for a free consultation about our services.