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Truck Accidents Caused by Unsecured Cargo

Injured by a Loading Accident? Contact Our Houston Big Rig Accident Attorneys Today.

There are many causes of truck accidents, but unsecured cargo is among the most dangerous. A fully loaded semi can carry tens of thousands of pounds of cargo. If this cargo is not secured properly, it can get loose and fall on the road, endangering motorists and pedestrians. In some cases, improperly secured cargo can even cause a truck to become involved in a devastating collision. If you or a loved one was hurt in an accident caused by an overturned truck or any other type of big rig accident, you should know about your legal rights. Federal regulations require truck drivers to secure cargo carefully. Contact a Houston truck accident attorney at Arnold & Itkin right away for effective, knowledgeable counsel.

Statistics on Cargo Securing Accidents

According to a 2004 survey conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than 25,000 motor vehicle accidents are caused by unsecured cargo every year. This is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has established regulations for allowable weight limits for truck cargo as well as proper procedures for securing that cargo. To help enforce these regulations, weigh stations and truck scales are dispersed along America's highways. Here, law enforcement officials can ensure that truck drivers adhere to applicable commercial trucking regulations.

Some examples of accidents that can be caused by improperly secured cargo include:

  • Overturn Accidents: One of the most common types of accidents caused by improperly loaded trucks is overturning. When a truck is attempting to make a turn, it may be thrown off balance by loose cargo in its trailer. When the load shifts, the weight of the truck is no longer evenly distributed, which makes it more likely to turn over.
  • Jackknife Accidents: One major reason why the NHTSA has established load weight limits is that heavy loads can impair a driver's ability to brake quickly. The heavier the load, the longer it can take a commercial vehicle to come to a complete stop. If a truck driver slams on the brakes suddenly, the driver risks having the load shift in such a way that the truck jackknifes or tips over. A jackknife accident is when the cab remains parallel with the road, while the trailer loses control and is dragged perpendicular to the road, so that the cab is facing the opposite direction of the trailer. The trailer can wipe out surrounding passenger vehicles in the process. Jackknife accidents are all too common and can cause serious injuries and even death for surrounding motorists.
  • Hazardous Materials Spills: Truckers responsible for carrying hazardous cargo must be even more careful when loading. Accidents involving these trucks can be even more dangerous, as a hazardous materials spill off of a truck and onto the highway may present a heightened risk of fire or explosion, potentially endangering other motorists and even nearby communities. Commercial vehicle drivers must be specially licensed if they wish to operate trucks that carry hazardous materials. These truckers have to pass specific skills test in order to show that they understand the proper safety procedures involved in carrying hazardous materials. Even with these safety precautions in place, however, trucks carrying hazardous materials still cause roadway collisions.
  • Accidents Caused by Spilled Cargo: When cargo is not secured in a trailer, but rather on top of a flatbed, there is an increased risk of the cargo flying onto the road in the event of an accident. Bungees or strong tethers typically secure cargo onto a flatbed trucks. If a trucker uses tethers that have been worn down by prolonged use or sun damage, the ropes could break and cause cargo to spill onto the highway. Debris on highways can either fly off of a truck bed and cause direct damage to a vehicle, or fall onto the road and present a traffic barrier that vehicles must swerve to avoid. Both scenarios are dangerous and can result in serious collisions.

Injured in a Truck Accident? Take Legal Action! Call (888) 493-1629 Now.

If you were injured in an accident caused by unsecured or improperly secured cargo, then you may be able to take legal action. Contact Arnold & Itkin to speak with one of our experienced Texas truck injury attorneys about your case. We frequently assist victims of commercial truck accidents so that they can secure maximum compensation for their injuries and other damages. Possible liable parties can include the truck driver, the trucking company, mechanic shop, or even an outside manufacturer of a truck equipment part.

Do not hesitate to reach out to Arnold & Itkin at (888) 493-1629 to arrange a free review.

Case Results

Check Out Our Victories

  • $12Million Massive Settlement Obtained for Truck Driver Arnold & Itkin is proud to announce that our firm has secured a $12 million settlement on behalf a truck driver who was crushed by his own cargo—which then led directly to a stroke. The driver, who was 56 years old at the time, now requires costly around-the-clock care to carry out basic tasks. The defendants argued that the stroke was his fault—but Cory Itkin was able to counter their arguments enough to compel them to settle. Our client has received everything he needs for a stable future.
  • $10Million Settlement Won for Family Against Negligent Trucking Company Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Caj Boatright, and Ces Tavares represented a family who had lost their father in a tragic 18-wheeler accident. He was driving home when a trucker made a dangerous maneuver and caused a massive collision. The trucking company ultimately settled for $10 million.
  • $10Million Settlement Obtained for Family Affected by Fatal Vehicle Accident Our firm represented the family of two people who were killed after their vehicle was hit by an 18-wheeler running a red light. We were successful in reaching an eight figure settlement on their behalf.
  • $3.2Million Settlement Reached for Injured Husband & Wife Attorney Cory Itkin represented a husband and wife who were injured after being hit by two semi-trucks. The wife sustained back injures while the husband was knocked unconscious; he needed several surgeries. Our firm was successful in reaching a settlement of $3.2 million for the couple.
  • $2.1Million Settlement Obtained for Truck Accident Victim Arnold & Itkin LLP secured a multimillion-dollar settlement for a man who suffered severe neck and back injuries in a truck accident. Our firm aggressively pursued the case until the defendant settled with our client days before trial.
  • $2Million Large Settlement Obtained for Grieving Family Arnold & Itkin is proud to have secured a massive settlement for a family who lost their loved one due to the negligence and reckless action of a commercial vehicle driver. Our work will allow our clients to live in financial stability while they grieve and heal from this tragedy.
  • $1.6Million Large Settlement Reached for Victim of Severe Truck Accident Truck accident attorneys at Arnold & Itkin secured a sizable settlement for a client who was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler on the highway. Her injuries required multiple surgeries, but the defendants refused to take responsibility. Her $1.6 million settlement will get her the medical care and financial support she needs.
  • $1.5Million Big Rig Accident Victim Received Jury Verdict Arnold & Itkin LLP obtained a $1.5 million verdict on behalf of a client who suffered a torn meniscus when he was bumped by a tractor trailer. We are especially pleased with this result because the defendants accepted no responsibility for the injury and only offered to settle for $5000.
  • $1.5Million Jury Verdict Ruled in Favor of Longshoreman Arnold & Itkin obtained a $1.55 million verdict on behalf of a client who was seriously injured when a yard mule driver collided with the pickup truck in which he was standing. The defendants only offered to settle for $35,000 while denying the existence of an injury at all.
  • $1.49Million Settlement for Man Struck by a Truck Our firm helped represent a client who was severely injured after he was struck by a truck. We helped recover $1.49 million on his behalf.
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