Our Boston Personal Injury Attorneys Have Seen What Happens When an Overloaded Truck Loses Its Cargo on the Road
From logs to lumbering loads of equipment, improperly secured cargo can lead to tragedy
We have all seen them: trucks carrying heavy loads on some of Massachusetts’ major trucking routes including I-95, I-93, the Mass Pike and the Boston Extension. The cargo these trucks transport can become deadly weapons when not properly secured. Our seasoned attorneys with Swartz & Lynch LLP are all too familiar with the kinds of serious injuries caused by overloaded trucks, and we know how to hold the liable parties accountable.
The standards governing cargo
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues requirements regarding securing cargo on commercial motor vehicles under the North American Cargo Securement Standard. This standard specifies the following:
- Cargo must be properly distributed and adequately secured.
- The vehicle’s structure and equipment must be secured, including the tailgate, doors, tarpaulins, spare tire and other equipment used in vehicle operation and cargo-securing equipment.
- Moreover, cargo must be secured so that it does not leak, spill, blow off, fall from or shift upon or within the vehicle in a manner that adversely affects the truck’s stability or maneuverability or falls off the truck and strikes another vehicle.
When drivers, cargo loaders or trucking companies fail to follow these standards, falling debris from an overloaded truck can cause a serious truck accident — an accident that could leave you with a catastrophic injury such as paralysis, blindness, loss of a limb (amputation), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord damage.
How overloaded truck accidents happen — and how we can help if one has happened to you
At Swartz & Lynch LLP, our personal injury attorneys want you to be aware of the dangers associated with unbalanced, unsecured or overloaded truck cargo:
- A too-heavy load causes the weight of the truck to shift to the rear, making it difficult for the driver to steer and control the vehicle.
- Heavy trucks move downhill at a faster clip, making them more difficult to stop and wearing out brakes more quickly — even to the point of premature failure.
- An overweight truck can cause tire blowout.
- Overloaded trucks have a higher center of gravity, making them more prone to rollovers.
- When cargo is not secured to standards, it can shift and roll off the truck. Items can include steel beams, concrete drain pipes and logs. Construction equipment that is not properly chained can also fall from lowboy trailers.
- Under Massachusetts law, trucks must be loaded in a way to prevent their load from “dropping, sifting, leaking or otherwise escaping,” and if that load is “sand, gravel, loam, dirt, stone, rubbish or debris that could fall on other vehicles or on the highway and create litter or potential hazards to other vehicles,” it must be adequately covered. This applies to all types of trucks, including garbage trucks, dump trucks and construction vehicles.
Truck cargo accidents, like truck accidents caused by driver fatigue, poor vehicle maintenance, and unsafe road conditions, may also be the fault of more than one party. Truckers, trucking companies and cargo owners may be held accountable and liable for your injuries from a truck cargo accident.
Our AV-rated lawyers understand the complex laws surrounding truck accidents related to overloaded or improperly loaded cargo. Whenever possible, we negotiate the best possible settlement. Whenever necessary, we take your case to court. Our job, first and foremost, is to help you obtain the maximum compensation you’re entitled to.
Talk to an attorney who understands what you’re going through
To learn more about how we can help you recover damages for truck accident injuries, give Swartz & Lynch LLP a call at 857-250-0664 or contact a Boston injury attorney online to schedule a free initial consultation with a skilled and dedicated lawyer. If you cannot come to us, we can come to your home or hospital to discuss your needs.