Car Accidents as a Result of Improper Cargo Loading
Both truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to strict regulations on the manner in which the truck’s cargo is loaded. Improperly loaded cargo is inherently dangerous, perhaps more dangerous than an intoxicated driver. Accidents caused by cargo loading errors often trigger sizeable personal injury claims.
How Cargo Overloading Causes Death and Injury
Some of the most common and reasonably foreseeable ways that cargo overloading can cause death and injury include:
- Falling cargo acts as a projectile and penetrates the windshield of a trailing vehicle.
- An object falls onto the road and causes a second vehicle to strike a third vehicle (multi-vehicle pile-ups are possible, especially in Chicago traffic).
- The truck tips over on its side at high speed, crushing an adjacent vehicle.
- The truck driver loses control of the truck after a high-speed blowout that was caused by cargo overloading.
Wrongful Death Claims in Chicago
Cargo overloading accidents are more likely to be fatal than most other types of accidents. The Illinois wrongful death statute allows the personal representative of the probate estate of a deceased truck accident victim to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages do not go to the estate directly but to the surviving spouse (if any) and next of kin.
Wrongful death awards are substantial. Typically, they are comparable to the amount that might have been awarded had the victim lived and won a personal injury claim for grievous bodily injury.
Most of Our Clients Win without Ever Going to Court
At Malman Law, most of our clients’ claims are resolved through negotiated out-of-court settlements (“most” means more than 90 percent). Of course, to win out of court, you have to be ready to win in court. It is fear of losing in court that motivates the opposing party to negotiate. Let us handle negotiations for you while you make the major decisions.
“Kent and his team were Fantastic!! They helped us with all our questions and resolved our case with Great Results!!! Highly recommend this firm!!!!” — Patti C.
Some of Our Related Practice Areas
The following are a few of the types of truck accident claims we frequently handle:
- Truck Accidents Due to Distracted Driving
- Truck Accidents Due to Driver Fatigue
- Truck Accidents Due to Driver Error
- Truck Accidents Due to Faulty Truck Design
- Back and Neck Injuries From Truck Accidents
- Broken Bones From Truck Accidents
- Head Injuries From Truck Accidents
- Lacerations From Truck Accidents
- Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis From Truck Accidents
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are there any federal regulations governing cargo loading?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Cargo Securement Rules, drivers must properly secure the following:
- Spare tires
- Cargo securing equipment
Trucking companies are also responsible for ensuring that the truck has been properly loaded.
How securely must cargo be loaded?
According to the FMCSA, the cargo must be loaded in a manner that can withstand:
- 0.8 g deceleration in the forward direction;
- 0.5 g acceleration in the rearward direction; and
- 0.5 g acceleration in a lateral direction.
Who is liable for a truck accident caused by a cargo loading error?
That depends entirely on the situation. Potential defendants include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- A third-party loading company, if cargo loading was outsourced to a third party
- A truck component manufacturer, if the accident occurred because a defective restraint failed
More than one defendant might be liable, depending on the circumstances.
How can I prove that the accident was caused by a cargo loading error?
This may require an investigation. Some evidence that might be produced include:
- Cargo loading records
- Eyewitness statements
It will help your claim greatly if you can establish that a state or federal cargo loading regulation was violated.
Your Legal Bill Is Zero until You Win
With your medical expenses and perhaps lost work time, etc., you may already be in a financial hole. You may be afraid that you are digging that hole even deeper by hiring a law firm to represent you. Fear not, because you won’t be. We charge no upfront fees and nothing ever unless you win and actually receive the funds. Our legal fees are strictly proportionate to the amount you win.
Contact Malman Law Today
Truck accidents caused by cargo loading errors can be complex. In fact, it can be difficult to determine who you should file your claim against. Fortunately, we are well experienced in these kinds of claims. If you were injured in a Chicagoland truck accident, call us today at 1-888-836-5975 or simply fill in our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.