Truck Accidents and Improperly Loaded Trailers: Understanding the Risks and the Law
When fully loaded, a commercial truck can weigh more than 75,000 pounds. The incredible size of tractor trailers makes them an inherent hazard. Truck drivers and trucking companies have a legal obligation to operate these vehicles with the highest level of care and consideration for public safety.
Among other things, companies must ensure that trailers are properly loaded. An improperly loaded trailer is dangerous—it could make a truck accident far more likely. Here, our West Palm Beach truck accident lawyers highlight the risks of poorly loaded trailers and we explain the relevant state and federal law.
Four Reasons Why Improperly Loaded Trailers are Dangerous
For safety reasons, there are specific practices that trucking companies should use when loading cargo. Trailers can be loaded safely. Doing so takes care and focus. The loading of a trailer should never be rushed. There are strict limits to how much weight a trailer can hold, cargo must be properly secured, and cargo must be well-balanced. Here are four reasons why improperly loaded trailers are dangerous:
- An overloaded or unbalanced truck will have trouble stopping;
- Improperly loaded trucks struggle to maintain their lane;
- Unsecured cargo can come loose and create a road hazard; and
- An improperly loaded truck is far more likely to rollover in an accident.
Truckers, Trucking Companies, Other Parties Liable for Securing Cargo
There are state and federal rules and regulations in place that govern the loading of trailers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented cargo securement rules to ensure that trucking companies comply with the best practices in the industry. Notably, cargo securement safety standards are comprehensive—meaning multiple different parties have a professional responsibility to ensure that a truck is properly loaded. Under federal law, it is the duty of both the trucking company and the truck driver to make sure any cargo in the trailer is properly loaded and fully secured before hitting the road.
When trucking companies or truck drivers cut corners on safety—perhaps by failing to conduct a comprehensive pre-trip inspection of the trailer—serious accidents can happen. Negligent trucking companies and truckers must be held liable for accidents caused by an improperly loaded vehicle. Beyond these parties, other companies, such as the company that loaded the trailer, may also bear responsibility for an accident. If you believe your crash was caused by an improperly loaded truck, an experienced West Palm Beach, FL truck accident attorney can help. Your lawyer will conduct an immediate investigation.
Contact Our West Palm Beach Truck Accident Attorneys for Help
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida truck accident lawyers are strong advocates for injured victims. We know how to hold trucking companies accountable. If your crash was caused by an improperly loaded trailer, we are available to help. To set up a free, no strings attached initial consultation, please call us now. We represent truck accident victims throughout Southeastern Florida, including in West Palm Beach and Miami.