Birmingham Improperly Loaded or Secured Cargo Attorneys
Most of the products that we buy in a store or online will, at some point, travel on our roads in a commercial truck. We share the road with these large and powerful vehicles, and we expect trucks to be safely maintained and operated. Part of the responsibility to ensure safe truck operation includes properly loading and securing cargo.
When this does not happen, a dangerous situation can easily be created. A truck accident due to improperly loaded or secured cargo can result in serious injuries, damage to vehicles, and even loss of life. Whether the victim was a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, they should not have to pay for an accident caused by someone else.
If you were injured in an accident caused by improperly loaded or secured cargo, you may be facing a growing stack of medical bills. You may be overwhelmed about what to do next and wondering how you will pay for everything, especially if you are unable to work as a result of the accident.
Call Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP today at (205) 324-1212, or contact us online to speak with one of our Birmingham truck accident attorneys about your case. Let us help you through this difficult and painful time so that you can focus on your recovery and your family. We’re well experienced and ready to fight for you.
Why Is Improperly Loaded or Secured Cargo Dangerous?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration webpage on Cargo Securement Rules provides necessary requirements for loading and securing cargo. The cargo must not leak, spill, fall from the truck, or shift to the extent that the stability or maneuverability of the truck is affected. The handbook also specifies which items are the responsibility of the driver and the carrier. For example, the driver must perform an inspection of cargo and securing devices at these points:
- Within the first 50 miles
- When the duty status of the driver changes
- Every 150 miles or 3 hours (whichever comes first)
If the driver or carrier fails to properly load or secure cargo, several dangerous situations may occur. The cargo may shift during travel, causing the truck to become imbalanced. This can impact the way the truck maneuvers, including stopping, making turns, and accelerating. In an extreme case, this may even lead to a truck rollover. In addition, the cargo may also fall from the truck and become a hazard on the roadway.
In the event of an accident, liability may be shared by more than one party. The investigation to determine who is at fault will include examining who loaded the cargo, how and when inspections were performed during transport, and whether any equipment failures contributed to the accident. The parties involved may include the truck driver, loading dock workers, motor carriers, and equipment manufacturers.
How cargo is loaded and secured varies by the type of cargo. For example, automobiles, livestock, concrete pipes, heavy equipment, and logs all require different loading and securing. Cargo can be improperly loaded or secured in multiple ways, including:
- Overloading a trailer
- Loading a trailer so that it creates a high center of gravity
- Improperly using tie-downs (either too few or using an incorrect type)
- Improperly covering cargo
- Improper weight distribution of the cargo
- Improper bracing or blocking
Do I Need an Attorney?
An accident involving a commercial truck usually has multiple involved parties, which may include truck drivers, truck owners, trucking companies, and insurance companies. The companies involved have likely been through a similar situation many times before and they know how to exploit this to their advantage.
This means that the deck is, unfortunately, stacked against an individual who is not familiar with the legal process of pursuing compensation after a truck accident. The companies will have legal teams who are well versed in making sure that their clients pay out as little money as possible.
In the State of Alabama, a car crash victim who is even one percent at fault for the accident cannot receive any compensation whatsoever. This means that the other side will do whatever they can to prove that you were partially at fault. This includes things like recording conversations and using misleading questions in an attempt to catch you in a statement that implies blame. Another method that companies use to reduce the amount they have to pay is by offering lowball settlements. They prey on the fact that an individual does not know what is fair or all the losses that may be included in the compensation they are owed.
You need an attorney who has handled this type of case many times before and who knows where to expect these kinds of tactics. By choosing Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, you will be working with an experienced legal team who will take over the responsibility for your claim and guide you around these pitfalls. We will explore all the potential components of the compensation you may be entitled to, and we will not accept any lowball offers. Let us bring our experience and our team to your case so we can fight to pursue the full financial amount that you may deserve.
Call Us Today
If you have been injured in a truck accident that was caused by improperly loaded or secured cargo in Birmingham, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP today at (205) 324-1212, or contact us online to speak with one of our truck accident attorneys about your case and your options.
We have been helping people in Birmingham just like you for more than 20 years. We are local attorneys, and we know our communities. We have represented Alabama residents successfully many times before, and our results speak for themselves. Our prior clients tell our story best because the true test of a legal team is whether a client would recommend them to someone else. We do not charge any fees until we get money for you.
You should not have to be financially responsible for an injury that was not your fault. Let us put your mind at ease so that you can get back to living your life. Call us today.