Truck accident

A semi-truck losing its load is a serious situation that has the potential to cause catastrophic harm and injury. Unfortunately, it’s not all that uncommon for a semi-truck to lose the cargo it’s carrying, and for that cargo to subsequently end up in the road. This can cause serious accidents, which is why there are specific regulations intended to ensure truck drivers follow the proper procedure for securing their cargo. Regulations state that a truck’s load must be contained or secured in such a way that it cannot leak, spill, or fall off a vehicle. Cargo is also supposed to be fixed to prevent shifting that could cause the truck to become difficult to maneuver or tip over. However, this doesn’t always work, and cargo can, and does, end up in the road.

Cargo shifting or problems with securing cargo are a primary cause of approximately 7% of semi-truck accidents across the U.S. It goes without saying that shifting loads or cargo that ends up in the road are of significant danger to passenger vehicles and other road goers.
California semi-truck accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates have a thorough understanding of both the legal and medical issues surrounding serious truck accidents. If you or someone you care for is a victim of a semi-truck lost load accident, it is important that you speak with an attorney who is experienced in helping clients with California truck accident litigation.

With multiple offices located in Irvine, Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Diego, and Riverside, our truck accident attorneys represent victims across California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call 949-727-9300.

What is an Unsecured Load?

The cargo capacity of commercial vehicles and semi-trucks is very large, and when trailers are loaded with such a huge amount of cargo, they can pose severe risks if their load is not properly secured. Unsecured cargo is not only prone to spilling onto the road but, even if it remains on the truck, it can hinder the driver’s ability to maintain proper control of their semi.

An unsecured load can fall into the road, causing other vehicles to collide with the cargo, or it can fall directly onto or into another vehicle. Additionally, a load that doesn’t fall from the truck but moves around during transit may cause the driver to swerve, drive dangerously, or might cause the truck itself to tip over. Some common examples of unsecured cargo-related issues include:

  • Inadequate security prior to transportation of cargo.
  • Water, gas, or oil, or other liquids that have not been properly contained or pressurized.
  • Inadequate use of tiedown straps or other mechanisms to secure cargo.
  • Weakening, improper use, and product defects associated with tiedown straps.
  • A specific type of cargo is being delivered by an incorrect type of vehicle.
  • Top-heavy or unbalanced loads.
  • Uneven or unequal weight distribution.
  • Excess weight.
  • Negligent or distracted truck drivers.
  • A truck driver who is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Any number of issues can cause a lost cargo load, and that’s part of the problem. It’s not uncommon for mistakes or accidents to happen, but the outcome of a lost load accident can be horrific. Thus, trucking companies are responsible for doing their due diligence in securing cargo. If they do not do so and an accident occurs, the trucking company will be liable and victims should be entitled to compensation.

Ways to Reduce the Risk of Lost Load Accidents

In order to prevent overloaded trucks from barreling down the highways or trucks losing cargo on the road, trucking companies need to take several precautions. Because the trucking company and driver are directly in charge of assuring that loads are properly secured, any injuries or incidents caused by an insecure load tend to be the fault of the company or driver. There are some regulations and rules that trucking companies must follow in order to reduce the risk of lost loads. These include:

  • Preventing overloading by weighing trucks
  • Making sure that a semi’s cargo load never exceeds their gross vehicle weight ratings
  • Ensuring that all cargo is properly secured before trucks leave the warehouse or port
  • Inspecting and maintaining all mechanical and electronic mechanisms to ensure they are working correctly

Injuries Caused by Lost Load Accidents

Injuries caused by lost load accidents can be severe, debilitating, and in some cases can lead to loss of life. Injuries may also vary largely depending on the specific type of lost load-related accident someone endures. Some of the most common injuries endured due to lost cargo include:

  • Burns from vehicle fires or airbag deployment
  • Whiplash
  • Fractures
  • Cuts and Abrasions
  • Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Physical injury is not the only type of injury that many victims sustain after a lost load accident. It’s not uncommon for victims to experience emotional distress following such a scary and overwhelming experience. Emotional distress can lead to anxiety, depression, and even PTSD. Both victims of physical injury and emotional distress may be entitled to compensation.

Who is Liable for a Lost Load Accident?

Determining liability is often one of the most complicated and intricate components of a truck accident. It may seem that the liability very obviously falls on the trucking company and/or trucker in a lost load incident. While this is usually the case, it doesn’t stop trucking companies from trying to claim they are not at fault. What’s more, most trucking companies have the resources to represent themselves very well. This can cause issues for victims looking for compensation. Many trucking companies will also offer to settle out of court.

However, even though they may offer quite a large amount of money, victims should be wary about taking such deals without consulting with an experienced truck accident attorney in California. You may be entitled to significantly more compensation than you realize.

Accidents caused by lost cargo loads can be very serious. Many times, victims are left with injuries that require significant, ongoing, expensive medical treatment, and even rehabilitation well into the future. What’s more, most sufferers are unable to work during this time, making a loss of income another problem. Overall, the expenses associated with being the victim of a lost load accident are considerable. Thus, victims should know their rights and receive the compensation they deserve.

Contact an Experienced California Semi-Truck Lost Load Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one is a victim of a truck accident in California, you should discuss your legal options with an attorney as you may be entitled to compensation. The California truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can then help determine if you have a personal injury claim.

With multiple offices located in Irvine, Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Diego, and Riverside, our semi-truck accident attorneys represent victims across California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 949-727-9300.