Large commercial trucks, such as tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers all carry substantial amounts of cargo to destinations throughout the United States. Often, a trucking company will pressure its truck drivers to make as many deliveries as quickly as possible to increase profit. As a result, both trucking companies and truck drivers will cut corners to obtain additional revenue. One of the ways in which trucking companies and truck drivers attempt to get more goods to a destination is through adding more cargo than a commercial truck can handle, or by failing to secure the cargo properly. When cargo is either unsecured, or secured incorrectly, serious accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries may occur. If you suffered injuries due to a commercial truck having unsecured or improperly secured cargo, learn how a Los Angeles unsecured loads attorney at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 can help you with your case.
Regulations for Securing Loads on Trucks
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has very specific regulations related to how commercial trucks must load and secure cargo. If cargo remains unsecured in a large trailer of an 18-wheeler, it can easily shift, leading to rollovers and jackknifing accidents. FMCSA regulation § 392.9 directly addresses the securement of cargo such as hazardous and toxic materials, equipment, boulders, metal coils, logs, heavy machinery, shipping containers, lumber, paper rolls, pipes, and other different types of cargo. If a trucking company or truck driver makes the decision not to follow these loading regulations required by federal law, they may face either civil or criminal charges.
Unsecured Cargo Loading
If you suffered injuries because of unsecured cargo loading, you may have the legal right to pursue compensation to repay you for your injuries and damages from several different entities. If a trucking company, truck driver, or a third-party cargo loading company make the willful decision to forego federal regulations regarding the securement of cargo loads on a commercial truck, serious accidents may result. For example, if the truck driver with an unsecured load makes a sudden stop or sharp turn, the result can be a jackknifing accident or completely overturned cargo truck. Along with causing multiple-car pileups and serious injuries, in some cases, these commercial trucks transport hazardous or toxic materials that can explode, cause fires, or cause respiratory distress when inhaled. In other cases, if a large commercial truck carries bulky loads such as heavy machinery, pipes, or metal coils, when this cargo remains unsecured devastating accidents often result in other motorists on the roadways. If you suffered injuries due to a commercial truck having an unsecured or improperly secured cargo, learn how a Los Angeles unsecured loads lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you conduct an investigation in order to determine who was actually responsible for the failure to secure the cargo correctly resulting in your injuries.
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There are cases where cargo loads become unsecured due to the manufacturing defects of tie-down straps and/or fasteners used by a trucking company, truck driver, or third-party cargo loading company. If an accident results from unsecured cargo loads due to a manufacturing defect of the securement mechanism, a victim may have the legal right to pursue justice and compensation from the manufacturer of that defective product.
Product Liability Cases
Cases involving manufacturing defects fall under product liability cases. When a manufacturer or a retailer places a defective or faulty product in the stream of commerce, they will have liability for any resulting injuries or damages that result from that defective product. These types of cases are typically difficult and complex and require independent investigation to prove that the defective product directly caused the accident or caused an accident to be much more severe.
Defective Tie-Downs and Fasteners
If an investigation determined that a tie-down or fastener used to secure a cargo load in a commercial truck was truly defective or faulty in some way, or “unreasonably dangerous” according to the standards of that industry, a victim may hold the manufacturer or retailer liable for placing those products into the stream of commerce. Along with proving that the tie-down or fastener defect existed, a victim must also prove that the trucking company, truck driver or third-party cargo loading company did not alter these products, or use them in such a way that altered their original purpose causing them to weaken or not remain in their original condition. If this is the case, then the victim may have the right to file a claim against the trucking company, truck driver, or third-party cargo loading company that altered these products intended to secure cargo loads.
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Building an Unsafe or Unsecured Loads Injury Case
Building an unsecured loads case against a trucking company, truck driver, third-party cargo loading company, manufacturer, or retailer can be quite complex and legally challenging. In many cases, when cargo spills onto the roadways in an accident, teams of investigators from different governmental agencies will arrive to assess the damage and make determinations of fault along with law enforcement. Additionally, the insurance company of the trucking company will likely also arrive at the scene of the accident to exculpate their client from responsibility.
While it is always important to obtain copies of these reports, many victims find that having a completely independent investigation can also help their claim and to help determine which parties were responsible for their injuries and damages. Issuing a spoliation letter helps ensure that the parties involved (such as the trucking company, truck driver, third party cargo loading company, manufacturer, and retailer) do not destroy any evidence that will remain critical to proving your personal injury or product liability case.
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An Unsecured Load Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
Determining responsibility and liability in a trucking accident is often challenging. A Los Angeles unsecured loads lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 can help you understand your legal rights and help determine which parties are liable and responsible for your personal injuries.