If you have spent much time traveling I-83, I-95, or other busy interstates in Baltimore County, MD, you may have witnessed debris falling off a truck’s trailer. You may have even seen a large section of cargo slip, shift, or lean while in traffic. As you would expect, these unsecured loads present a considerable risk of truck accidents. When a crash happens, victims can be severely hurt and sustain significant losses. You should discuss your legal options with a Baltimore County, MD accident lawyer, but the following general information should be helpful.
Improper Loading Violates FMCSA Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted multiple regulations intended to keep the public safe from unsecure truck loads. Drivers, shippers, trucking companies, and other parties that play a role in transporting goods on US highways must strictly comply with these standards. Violations can lead to fines, Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) suspensions, and other penalties.
How Accidents Occur from Improper Truck Cargo Loading
In many truck accidents that occur from unsecured loads, the incident is triggered by debris flying off the semi trailer. The materials could be tossed on to the windshields of following vehicles, at minimum causing a visibility hazard that may lead to an accident.
However, with heavier debris, the impact can shatter the glass and strike the vehicle’s occupants. Even if the truck’s cargo merely spills out onto the roadway, the wreckage can cause a driving hazard for surrounding vehicles.
In more serious situations, an unsecured truck load could shift when the operator takes a turn. Dangerous veering, jack-knifing, or a complete overturn creates a severe risk to all motorists in the vicinity.
Factors That Make the Load Unsafe: A truck’s cargo may be unsecured for a multitude of reasons:
- The trailer was loaded beyond recommended weight or size limit;
- No one conducted regular inspections regarding the semi or trailer stability;
- Speeding or erratic driving by the truck’s operator;
- Failure to comply with FMCSA standards, Maryland laws, or industry requirements for safely securing the cargo;
- Faulty harnesses, belts, or other equipment used to secure the load; and,
- Other types of careless, reckless acts.
You May Have a Claim as an Injured Victim
Though FMCSA sanctions punish those who break the law, these measures do not do anything to help the victim of truck accidents. You could suffer severe injuries when an unsecured load causes a truck accident, leading to significant losses. Fortunately, Maryland law does allow you to seek compensation from the driver, a trucking company, or other entity responsible for creating an unsecured load. You may be entitled to recover for such losses as:
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress;
- Scarring and disfigurement; and,
- Other losses that result from a truck accident.
Speak to an Experienced Truck Accidents Lawyer for Free
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck collision caused by an unsecured load, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman to set up a no-cost, no-obligations consultation. We can review your circumstances and tell you more about legal remedies to recover compensation.