Overloaded / Improperly Secured Loads
INFORMATION AND WHAT TO DO
Louisiana largely relies on its large truck industry to keep the economy thriving. Thousands of commercial truck travel in and out of the state each year transporting millions of tons of goods. Each truck carrying cargo could be a liability.
It takes a team of cargo loaders and trained drivers to safely transport a truckload of goods from origin to destination. If one thin goes wrong along the way, a major lost-load accident can occur en route and injure or even kill other drivers. If you think an improperly secured load contributed to your truck accident, call Murphy Law Firm at (255) 928-8800 for a free consultation.
Federal Cargo Loading Rules and Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) enacts rules for commercial vehicle cargo loading, just as it does for all other aspects of the transportation industry. All trucking companies in the country must obey these federal cargo securement rules to make sure their truck comply with expected standards. Failure to do so can lead to an overloaded or improperly secured cargo load that’s liable to cause accidents and injuries. Proper securement includes:
- Cargo securement systems must be able to withstand certain levels of gravitational force associated with deceleration and acceleration in multiple directions. Securement systems must be able to withstand at least 0.8 g deceleration forward, 0.5 acceleration rearward, and 0.5 g acceleration laterally.
- All truck equipment, vehicle systems, parts, and components involved in cargo securement must be in proper working order. It is up to the trucking company, fleet manager, or dock manager to make sure this is the case prior to sending a truck out for delivery.
- Loaders must attach each cargo tie-down in a manner that prevents it from coming untied or loose during transit. All loads must have enough tie-downs to properly secure the load. Loaders must also use edge protection when the edge might cut into or rub the cargo or its securement components.
Another common problem is axle overloading, Even though a vehicle’s payload is within OEM limits, the vehicle may still be overloaded on one of its axles. It is possible that a front or rear axle is overloaded with only a portion of the maximum payload on the payload on the truck. Load distribution is the key to avoiding axle overloading. This can cause premature wear and tear on tires and suspension components. It also affect vehicle driving characteristics.
The federal rules regard all types of cargo, with only a few exceptions. There are also commodity-specific cargo securement rules companies must obey when transporting things like hazardous materials, logs, concrete pipes, automobiles, heavy machinery, and large boulders. A breach of any of these duties, resulting in a lost load or other cargo-related accident, could point to the trucking company for liability for damage.
Get Help with Your Insurance Claim
After an accident involving a commercial truck’s improperly secured load, call your own insurance company and create a claim. Do not admit to any fault for the accident and stick to the facts when answering your agent’s questions. You should receive a phone call from the truck company’s insurer shortly after your crash. The person calling you is a claims adjuster and his or her job is to convince you to settle your claim for as little as possible. Before agreeing to anything in these phones calls, call (225) 928-8800 to speak with one of our experienced truck attorneys.
Do not settle for less than what your case is truly worth. Contact us for a free consultation about your cargo-related truck accident.