Cargo trucks carry essential goods across our country and are a necessary part of our economy in the United States. If any trucking company or truck driver overloaded a cargo truck, or loaded cargo incorrectly into a cargo truck, catastrophic accidents may result. If you suffered injuries in an accident with a cargo or commercial truck, contact a Tinley Park cargo truck accident lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to help you understand your legal rights.
Federal Regulations for Cargo Loading
Cargo trucks transport every kind of good imaginable, including dangerous and hazardous materials like toxic chemicals. Due to the large size of these vehicles and the potential for them to carry dangerous materials, the federal government enacted several regulations in an attempt to ensure the safety of everyone on the roadways.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created specific regulations addressing the need to properly load cargo into cargo trucks. When cargo shifts within a truck, catastrophic accidents occur. Therefore, the FMCSA developed very specific rules regarding the securement of cargo loads, including hazardous material, heavy machinery, equipment, boulders, metal coils, logs, shipping containers, pipes, lumber, paper rolls, lumber, and other types of cargo. Specifically, Sec. 392.9 of the FMCSA Regulations addresses the responsibility of a truck driver and the trucking company to load their cargo correctly onto a cargo truck. If a truck driver or trucking company fails to follow these regulations, they face serious penalties and fines. These regulations are so strict that if an investigation into a failed cargo loading case determines that either egregious recklessness or willful ignorance occurred, the trucking company or truck driver may face either civil or criminal charges.
Incorrect Cargo Loading
If a truck driver hauls cargo that employees did not properly load or proves overweight, any sharp turn or sudden stop could result in a jackknife accident or overturned cargo truck. These types of accidents are oftentimes catastrophic, involving multiples cars and resulting in serious injuries.
If a truck driver or trucking company improperly stacks cargo or does not ensure that the cargo load stays balanced, accidents may occur. Truck drivers have a duty and responsibility to drive safely on the roadways, however, with the pressure to deliver as many goods as possible in the shortest amount of time possible, they may cut corners, resulting in cargo loads that fail stacking and balancing standards required by FMCSA guidelines. If you suffered injuries in a cargo truck accident from a jackknifed commercial truck or a rollover cargo truck, it may have resulted from incorrect cargo loading.
For a free legal consultation with a cargo truck accidents lawyer serving Tinley Park, call (800) 794-0444
The cargo truck itself may have a manufacturing defect on a vehicle part or component. Sometimes, the actual tie-down straps and fasteners used to secure cargo prove defective. In these cases, even if the truck driver or trucking company correctly secured the cargo according to FMCSA guidelines, severe accidents occur due to the failure of the tie-down strap or fastener to effectively hold the cargo load in place.
Product Liability Cases
Product liability cases (cases in which the fault rests with the manufacturer of a defective product, such as a tie-down strap or fastener) are extremely complex and legally challenging. Oftentimes, an independent investigation takes a considerable amount of time in order to prove that the manufacturer supplied a defective part or component to a truck driver or trucking company.
Product liability cases require proof that a manufacturer placed a defective product into the stream of commerce, which proved “unreasonably dangerous” according to industry standards, and while the truck driver or trucking company used the products as described and as intended, the malfunction led to injuries. You would have to prove that the truck driver and the trucking company never manipulated or altered the tie-down or fastener in such a way that would alter its original intent and purpose after their purchase of the product. Product liability cases rest on a strict liability standard, meaning that a victim must simply prove a defect existed.
Tinley Park Cargo Truck Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Cargo truck accidents are serious and oftentimes catastrophic. Unfortunately, in some cases, victims do not survive the accident. In these cases, negligence and improper cargo loading may directly cause untimely deaths.
If your loved one died due to a cargo truck accident, Sec. 740 ILCS 180 of the Illinois Statutes only allows the family one year from the date of the accident to file a wrongful death claim. This is a very short time frame to conduct a complete investigation, interview witnesses, hire expert witnesses, examine evidence, and file all appropriate legal paperwork. While no amount of money will bring your loved one back, you are likely facing substantial medical bills, funeral costs, and the loss of future income due to your loved one’s untimely passing. If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a cargo truck accident, contact a Tinley Park cargo truck accident lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn how we handle these types of cases.
Seek Help from a Tinley Park Cargo Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or death due to a cargo truck accident and want to understand your legal rights and determine your next steps and legal options, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at 800-794-0444 for a free consultation.