Any kind of truck accident can be the fault of many parties, including the driver, the company that owns the vehicle, and others. But when a truck accident occurs because of improper loading, that’s especially frustrating. Either they were too busy, or they simply didn’t care. Someone was severely injured as the result of that negligence.
If this happened to you, the truck accident law firm of Penn Kestner & McEwen is ready to help. We have years of experience representing people who have been hurt in truck accidents, and we deliver results on behalf of our clients on a regular basis. If you’re ready to put our skill and knowledge to work for you, we guarantee no one will work harder to make sure you get all of the compensation you deserve.
Here’s some information on how negligent loading can have devastating results. If you would like to speak with our firm to schedule a free review of your case, please use our online contact form or give us a call at (800) 732-3070.
Large commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. When the trailer portion of a truck isn’t loaded properly and safely, that can lead to several kinds of dangerous problems. If any of these occur, the risk of a terrible accident can rise exponentially.
This is where the load is unevenly distributed. This puts an incredible amount of pressure on the axles, tires, suspension and frame. If any of them fail, that can result in a horrible accident.
An unbalanced load can impact the handling of a truck in a lot of ways. If the load creates too much weight on the front portion of the trailer, that could make the brakes much more sensitive than normal. When this happens, that can cause the trailer to swing out wide during transport, leading to a jackknife accident.
If there is too much load on either side, that could result in a rollover accident.
Truck manufacturers assign a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) to every model they produce. That’s the highest amount of weight that a truck will be able to tow. Highway weigh stations are in place to make sure trucks aren’t carrying too much weight. The reason is that when a truck has too much of a load, that can result in serious performance issues. It can make steering more difficult, and it can make the truck’s stopping distance longer than it should be.
If a truck doesn’t carry enough weight, however, that can also cause issues. The brakes of a truck are designed to stop the vehicle when it’s carrying a full load. If the truck is too far underweight, that will make the brakes more powerful than they need to be. The truck could be at a higher risk of skidding as a result, because the brakes will be more likely to lock up. The driver could lose control and slam into a passenger car as a result, with the danger of a wreck getting even higher during heavy rain, or a snow or ice storm.
Here’s some more detailed information regarding the relationship between negligent loading and specific types of truck accidents.
The company that owns the truck will usually load it as well. It only makes sense, then, that if negligent loading caused an accident, anyone injured as a result would be eligible to sue that company. But third-parties will sometimes be hired to load trucks. They will be held liable for any negligence that contributes to an accident.
But truck drivers will also be held liable for improper loading when they cause an accident, even if they had nothing to do with it. Federal regulations mandate that truck drivers perform thorough inspections before getting on the road. This includes checking to make sure all cargo is securely and safely loaded. If they fail to do this, the risk of an accident increases. If that accident takes place, injury victims will likely be able to take legal action against the driver as well.
It can be incredibly hard for an accident victim to be certain that negligently loaded cargo led to their injury. Unless they actually see the doors of the trailer suddenly open, or they see unsecured cargo on a flatbed, it’s going to be hard for them to prove negligence without the help of an experienced attorney.
A legal representative will have the resources and skill needed to thoroughly investigate a truck accident. Attorneys know what to look for, and know how to uncover evidence. They can also demand documents, such as weight tickets, printouts of dispatch instructions, bill of lading and more. These documents could show if violations were committed that contributed to an accident.
A truck accident attorney with Penn Kestner & McEwen is standing by to help if you’ve suffered an injury due to negligently loaded cargo. Please contact us online or call (800) 732-3070 to schedule a free consultation.