Can Truck Drivers File A Claim For Improperly Secured Cargo?
When people think of truck accidents, they often first think of negligent truck drivers. It is true that any time a truck driver speeds, texts while driving, or otherwise acts carelessly, they can cause a crash that results in catastrophic injuries. However, it is not always only truckers who cause these serious crashes. Sometimes, other parties are liable, including the people or companies who load the cargo onto the truck.
Cargo that is improperly loaded on a truck can cause an accident in a number of ways. Improperly loaded cargo can throw a truck off balance, causing the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle and become involved in a serious crash. Still, there are other ways improperly loaded cargo can cause an accident. Many people do not realize that truck drivers can also become hurt by improperly loaded cargo, particularly when they are unloading the cargo.
How Do Truck Drivers Become Hurt by Improperly Loaded Cargo?
When truck drivers arrive at their destination, they often have to park the truck and open the back doors before pulling into the loading dock. This allows them to pull up flush with the building so the cargo can easily be removed from the truck. If cargo is not properly loaded inside the truck, it can easily spill out onto the truck driver when they open the rear doors of the vehicle. This is extremely dangerous for the trucker, particularly when the cargo is very heavy or otherwise poses a hazard.
Some of the most common types of cargo to cause injuries to truck drivers include:
- Automobile and car parts, particularly tires
- Furniture and furniture parts
- Art and art materials, including stone and marble sculptures
Determining Liability for Improperly Loaded Cargo
Just like any other accident victim on the road, truck drivers can file a claim against the negligent party that caused their injuries. Determining which party is liable after an accident caused by improperly loaded cargo is usually fairly straightforward. It is generally the person or company who loaded the cargo onto the truck, any company that undertook the responsibility to load or secure the cargo, and any other company that controlled the actions of the loader, like a shipper or receiver.
Injured truck drivers must also determine how the cargo was improperly loaded. This is often done by reviewing the guidelines and rules set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and industry standards, which requires hiring experts to provide reports and testimony. Some of the FMCSA rules are as follows:
- The load must meet the specific minimum limits, depending on the weight of the load
- The load must have a minimum number of tie-downs so the cargo on the truck is immobilized
- Detailed guidelines for transporting certain types of cargo, such as automobiles or logs
When truck drivers prove a specific law was violated, the cargo loading company can be considered negligent per se.
Our Cargo Securement Accident Lawyer in San Antonio Can Advise on Your Case
If you have been hurt while on the job, or you have lost a loved one, our San Antonio cargo securement accident lawyer at the Law Office of Israel Garcia can help you claim the full and fair settlement you deserve. Call us now at 210-LAW-9999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more.