Cargo trucks alone weigh substantially more than passenger vehicles and can cause catastrophic damage when involved in a collision. If the cargo truck has unsecured or improperly secured cargo, an accident involving cargo spilled on the roadways can cause even more serious injuries or even death. If you suffered injuries in an accident with a cargo truck, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to help you understand how an Evanston cargo truck accident lawyer may help you with your case.
Unsecured or Improperly Secured Cargo
Commercial trucks that carry cargo have strict guidelines they must follow to ensure that their cargo remains safely on the truck. Improperly secured cargo can lead to rollovers and devastating accidents involving spilled cargo on the roadways. Cargo can come loose when employees fail to secure it properly.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) creates and governs all regulations related to large commercial trucks, including the securement of cargo. FMCSA regulation Section § 392.9 requires that both the trucking company and the driver ensure that the cargo loads remain properly secured to avoid accidents or dangers on the roadway. In fact, the FMCSA provides instructions regarding securement for all types of cargo, including hazardous materials, heavy equipment and machinery, pipes, lumber, vehicles, logs, metal coils, shipping containers, boulders, paper rolls, and many other types of cargo.
These FMCSA regulations are oftentimes enforced through the weigh stations used by cargo trucks on the highways throughout the United States. Any violation by a trucking company or truck driver regarding these safety standards for cargo loading under FMCSA regulations may result in steep fines. If the driver willfully ignored cargo securement regulations and an accident resulted from the improperly secured cargo, the truck driver and/or the trucking company may incur either civil or criminal charges.
Cargo Tie-Down Straps and Fasteners
An investigation into a commercial cargo truck accident can often reveal that the cargo remained unsecured due to defective or worn tie-down straps or fasteners. In most cases, truck drivers and trucking companies follow the FMCSA guidelines detailing how to tie down specific cargo located inside their cargo truck. Even if properly secured, some cargo will inevitably move or shift. Using correct and non-worn tie-down straps and fasteners will oftentimes prevent this shifting of cargo.
If the tie-down straps and fasteners used to secure the cargo were, in fact, defective, the victim of the cargo truck accident may have the right to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer of these products. These types of product liability cases can be legally complex and challenging, as specific scientific tests make a final determination on whether the cause of the cargo truck accident involved these defects. In some cases, expert witnesses prove necessary in product liability cases.
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In cases of cargo truck accidents, an investigation may determine that the fault rested with either the truck driver, the trucking company, a third-party loading company, the manufacturer of a defective tie-down or fastener, or some combination of these parties. It is critical to understand that a victim may have the right to file a claim for their medical bills, lost wages, property damage, or pain and suffering against one or more of these parties. The complexity of a cargo truck accident can be overwhelming for a victim and may include the need for an independent investigation, consulting with expert witnesses, and the development of a proper legal case. An Evanston cargo truck accident lawyer may help with this process while you focus on recovering your health.
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Wrongful Death Claims
Unfortunately, cargo truck accidents can be catastrophic and may involve several other motorists on the roadways. These victims may suffer permanent injuries or even death. Almost 4,000 people die every year due to commercial trucking accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If your loved one suffered injuries and died as a result of a cargo truck accident, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. If they had survived, they may have pursued similar compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.
While no amount of money will bring back your loved one, the death of your family member likely impacted your family both emotionally and financially. You may face unexpected medical bills for your loved one’s medical care prior to their death, including ambulance bills, diagnostic testing, surgeries, and medications. Your loved one likely lost wages due to their inability to return to work, or if they passed away quickly following the accident, you may have the ability to file a claim for loss of future wages. Additionally, there is a loss of guidance and loss of consortium that family members often claim in wrongful death lawsuits. You have the right to seek justice on their behalf and have assistance dealing with the unexpected expenses and devastation that resulted due to someone else’s negligence.
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An Evanston Cargo Truck Accident Lawyer May Handle Your Case
If you were in an accident involving a cargo truck, or if your family member died as a result of an accident with a cargo truck, you may have the right to receive compensation for the resulting medical bills, pain and suffering, or lost wages. If you are considering either a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim with respect to your cargo truck accident in the state of Illinois, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444. We can provide a free consultation to help you learn how an Evanston cargo truck accident lawyer may proceed with your case.