If you have ever experienced anxiety driving behind or next to a semi-truck, there is probably a good reason why. Large, heavy, and intimidating, freight vehicles are capable of causing an accident of catastrophic proportions. Of course, when most people think about the possibility of a large truck accident, they think of a collision. Yet unsecured loads also pose a hazard to other road users – one that can be just as dangerous as the semi itself.
Unsecured Load Accident Common in the U.S.
In 2012, Congress mandated a study on the incident rate of unsecured load accidents in the United States. At that time, very few states had any sort of laws or provisions that penalized operating a vehicle with an unsecured load – and it showed. Over the course of just one year (2010), more than 51, 000 incidents involving unsecured loads and road debris had been reported. In them, more than 10, 000 victims had suffered injuries and at least 440 had been fatally killed. Laws have since strengthened, but unsecured loads are still a serious problem in the United States.
Causes of Unsecured Load Accidents
More often than not, an act of negligence is the direct cause of an unsecured load. Examples of such negligence include:
- Incorrect or inappropriate use of tie-downs, straps, or other securing devices;
- Overloading the truck or hauling unapproved cargo;
- Use of defective straps, tie-downs, or other securing devices;
- Failing to ensure that the cargo load is appropriately balanced;
- Not fully closing or latching the cargo door; and
- Failing to conduct regular load checks to ensure securing devices or load has not shifted.
Because such negligence may have been on the part of the driver themselves, the trucking industry, a loading company, warehouse, or other industry company/worker, it is critical that a full investigation be done after a trucking accident. This can help to ensure that all negligent parties are identified and held accountable for their actions or inaction.
Understanding Your Rights in an Unsecured Load Accident
When you or someone you love is injured in an unsecured load accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for any losses or injuries you may have sustained. Further, if the accident leads to a wrongful death, you can pursue compensation for the financial losses and pain and suffering you have incurred. Unfortunately, because the trucking industry is so complex with potentially multiple negligent parties, victims may find it difficult to pursue fair compensation on their own. For this reason, victims injured in an unsecured load crash should contact an experienced attorney for assistance.
At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we understand how significant the impact of an unsecured load accident can be. Compassionate to the difficulties you may be facing, we will handle all the legal details of your claim and fight to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your losses. To schedule your consultation with our Green Bay, Wisconsin truck accident lawyers, call us at 920-739-7366 today.