Approximately 70 percent of all freight tonnage transported in the United States is moved by trucks. How that freight is loaded could be putting lives at risk and creating liability for trucking companies and their cargo owners. Improperly loaded freight is one of the leading causes of trucking accidents, and unless drivers inspect their cargo, they might be unaware of the increased rollover risks associated with improperly loaded freight.
If a load is unbalanced, it is more likely to shift during a lane change or evasive driving maneuver. When a heavyweight shifts inside the trailer being pulled by a big truck, it can cause the trailer to sway, rock or even flip onto its side. If a tractor-trailer has a rollover incident, the driver loses all control and everything in its path is in danger, including cars and passengers. Trailer walls can puncture, and spilling cargo can also cause crashes for nearby motorists. With flat-bed trailers, improperly secured cargo might fall off and cause serious damage to adjacent people and property.
Truck drivers are typically not required to load their own cargo, but they should inspect it. Shipping supervisors are responsible for the proper loading of transport trailers, and improper loading can be a theory of indirect liability against whoever is responsible for securing the load. If a driver fails to inspect improperly loaded or unsecured cargo, the trucking company may also be held liable for damages caused by the load shift.
Anytime there is a tractor-trailer accident, there are many potential causes. An experienced truck wreck lawyer may be able to help determine the best course of action for injured victims. A qualified injury advocate might work with safety professionals to ascertain the exact cause of a crash and the best way to hold any responsible parties accountable.