Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers: Improperly Loaded Cargo and Truck AccidentsOctober 28, 2015
Large commercial trucks are an integral part of our nation’s economy. An estimated 3.5 million truck drivers work in the U.S., delivering nearly 70% of all transported freight. Unfortunately though, the high number and large size of commercial trucks poses a serious threat to everyone they share the road with. Each year, nearly 4,000 people are killed and tens of thousands more are injured in collisions with large commercial trucks.
In an effort to identify the primary causes and conditions of serious truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration compiled data from approximately 120,000 serious injury or fatal truck crashes that happened over a period of 33 months. The study identified 19 factors most frequently associated with trucking accidents and separated them by those merely present at the time of the crash, and those that increase the risk of having a crash. By far, cargo shift was found to have the highest relative risk ratio.
Truck drivers are responsible for ensuring that the loads they are transporting are safe for travel. All motor carriers must comply with federal rules regarding cargo securement. These guidelines offer detailed instructions for containing, immobilizing and securing cargo. Additionally, drivers are required to inspect the cargo prior to departure, and again at regular intervals throughout the trip to ensure that locks are in place and that the cargo has not shifted. Cargo that has not been loaded correctly or becomes loose during travel can cause:
- Loss of load – Items that fall out the back of a truck or roll off the side of a flatbed create a major hazard to other drivers.
- HAZMAT spills – Hazardous materials are any type of solid, liquid or gas that is flammable or can burn or irritate the skin, eyes or lungs. Aside from the initial cleanup, leakage or spillage of these types of materials can have long-term devastating effects on the environment and community residents.
- Cargo imbalance – Heavy materials that shift during transport create an imbalance that can cause the truck to tip, especially during turns. Shifting cargo is a major cause of truck rollover accidents.
- Truck driver injury – In some cases, a heavy piece of cargo that came loose can move forward when the driver hits the brakes, smashing through the header-board and causing serious injury to the truck driver and any passengers.
- Warehouse worker injury – Improper loading can cause injuries even after the truck has reached its final destination. Warehouse workers can be hurt while unloading cargo that has been stacked incorrectly or with faulty restraint equipment.
Maryland Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Pursue Maximum Compensation for Those Injured in Truck Accidents
If you’ve been seriously injured in a truck accident, Maryland truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of your injuries and identify which parties might be held liable. Our firm has successfully obtained more than $100 million in compensation for victims of all types of accidents. Contact us online or call 800-547-4LAW (4529) today to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced and highly skilled Maryland truck accident lawyers. Someone is available to answer your call 24 hours a day. We operate on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing until we obtain money for you.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims and their families throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.