Commercial drivers who operate semi-trucks or 18-wheelers are held to a higher safety standard than a passenger vehicle, for a variety of reasons. This is why they are required to have a Commercial Drivers License or CDL, and why there are much more stringent and complex regulations around the commercial trucking industry. For these reasons and others, commercial trucking insurance policies are commonly in excess of $1 million. Working with a commercial insurance company to file a claim after an accident is, therefore, very complicated and can be overwhelming for someone who is unfamiliar with the process.
While there are many different risks of injury and accident because of commercial trucks, one possible cause of an accident is because of improper loading. Commercial trucks must be loaded in a certain manner to minimize the risks of rollover and to ensure that the loads are properly balanced to give the driver as much control as possible over the vehicle while in motion. Most truck drivers and shipping teams are very careful about the loading process to make sure that the cargo is safe and secure, but mistakes can sometimes happen.
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck as a result of improper loading, contact us as soon as possible to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced legal professional. Each step of the claims process with a commercial insurance policy is more complicated, and there are many more details that we will need to track down in order to present a comprehensive picture of the situation and maximize your settlement amount. Read more below about what to expect during this claims process.
How Does Improper Loading Affect a Truck?
Semi-trucks are designed to haul heavy loads over long distances, but they require that the loads are packed and secured in certain ways to maximize their control over these heavy cargos. If the trailer is overweight or imbalanced, it increases the risk of a variety of mishaps that can seriously impact the other people on the road.
Every truck and trailer has a maximum weight for transport, which takes into account a variety of factors including the axle carrying capacity, impacts to roads, the impact to turning, and most importantly, a truck’s ability to brake properly. If the trailer or truck is overloaded, there are serious impacts to the vehicle’s ability to operate safely and can result in rollovers, brake failures, and a variety of other accidents.
In most cases, a truck driver is required to inspect the cargo that they are transporting before they leave the shipping facility. In specific instances where the cargo is sealed and therefore unable to be inspected that the driver is not responsible for a final check. The driver (or the team who packed the sealed load) is responsible for ensuring that the weight is distributed properly, that the center of gravity is low, and that the risk of a rollover is minimized. If the center of gravity is too high off of the axles of the trailer, the risk of a rollover increases significantly during turns.
Improperly Secured Cargo
In addition to a load being properly balanced, it is very important that it is secured with ratchet straps, cargo nets, plastic wrap, and other standardized methods to keep cargo in one place during transit. If the material is not properly secured, there is a major risk of items shifting during transport. An unsecured load can shift during a turn and cause the truck to lose control around corners or while braking, but can also put the people who are receiving the container at risk. When unloading or opening a trailer after transport, the team relies on safe packing practices to ensure that they will not be injured due to falling objects.
Contact Us Now To Learn About Your Legal Options
If you have been injured as a result of an improperly loaded trailer, contact us now to discuss your situation and learn about your rights as a victim. Working with a San Diego truck accident attorney is one of the best ways to simplify this process while increasing your chances of a fair outcome to your case. Your injuries and financial losses should not be your responsibility if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, and it is our goal to help you achieve success.