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Truck Accident Lawyer
It is entirely understandable and very common to be nervous while driving behind large trucks carrying cargo. Twenty-five thousand car accidents a year are caused by fallen road debris and even small objects can cause a major accident. To reduce the amount of accidents caused by fallen cargo, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has created rules and guidelines that trucking companies and employees must follow to ensure the safety of other motorists on the roads.
In 2004, the FMCSA updated their regulations about securing cargo on trucks with the goal of further reducing the large number of accidents caused by falling cargo. The rules state that all cargo must be firmly secured with sufficient strength. The FMCSA elaborates on “sufficient strength” by outlining minimum strength requirements for different materials and the systems that secure the loads.
Accidents involving commercial trucks are not always caused by falling cargo. Shifting cargo can also be a dangerous hazard. If cargo is not secured properly and falls or shifts while it is being transported it can cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle. An eighteen wheeled truck weighs around forty tons without cargo so an out of control tractor trailer is extremely dangerous for everyone on the road. The new FMCSA regulations require that inflatable bags be used to fill gaps in the cargo to reduce the risk of cargo shifting while being transported.
When an accident is caused by falling cargo occurs, it is best to consult an experienced trucking accident lawyer. An attorney can use the regulations set forth by the FMCSA to help establish negligence of the commercial truck. Often, in addition to a regular police report, an independent investigation should be conducted. This investigation will determine whether the trucking company and employee were adhering to the DMCSA safety guidelines. A claim for damages against a trucking company can be very complicated and there can multiple sources of liability. An experienced attorney will know how to handle the claim to maximize the possible compensation to which you may be entitled.
In addition to the guidelines and rules created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, each state has their own safety laws pertaining to fallen cargo from non-commercial vehicles. It is common to see individuals transporting tools, furniture or other supplies with a pickup truck or trailer. Just like a commercial trucking company, if an accident is caused by cargo falling from a private vehicle, the driver can be held liable for their negligence.
If you are involved in an accident as a result of unsecured cargo from a commercial or private truck, your first step should be to seek legal advice. You could have a right to collect compensation for damages suffered from the accident. All drivers, especially truckers transporting cargo have a duty to make sure their actions do not harm other drivers sharing the road.
To learn more contact The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, today!