While many trucking accidents result from unrealistic shipping schedules, fatigued truck drivers, and poorly maintained big-rigs, improper loads also contribute to a significant number of collisions. Our Miami trucking accident attorneys recognize that the massive length and weight of a tractor-trailer mean that excessive loads, unbalanced loads, and poorly secured loads often interfere with proper handling and contribute to life-altering tractor-trailer collisions.
Because our Florida semi-truck accident lawyers have extensive experience handling trucking litigation, we can navigate the complexities involved in these sophisticated vehicular lawsuits. Our law firm has the expertise to navigate the extensive matrix of state and federal trucking regulations, as well as a network of nationally renowned industry experts. In this blog, we focus on the role of improper loads.
Tractor-Trailer Accidents Caused by Improperly Secured Loads
When a large, heavy semi-truck is moving at highway speeds, a small box or object shifting can start a chain reaction that results in a serious trucking accident. Shifting cargo can adversely impact the balance of a tractor-trailer and compromise the truck’s handling. The truck driver can lose control of the big-rig and collide with other vehicles.
When objects fall from the tractor-trailer onto the roadway or a trailing vehicle, an unsecured load can cause catastrophic injury or wrongful death. Other drivers might be forced to slam on their brakes or veer into an adjacent lane to avoid colliding with objects in the roadway. This type of sudden and unanticipated response can initiate a multi-car pileup. While trucking companies and truck drivers have a duty to ensure that loads are properly secured, the shipper also can be liable for failing to properly pack cargo before loading.
Excessive Loads Resulting in Trucking Accidents
Although a fully loaded tractor-trailer combination can weigh up to forty tons under federal law, some commercial carriers overload vehicles to increase profits. Excessive loads negatively impact the steering, handling, and braking capacity of a big-rig. Given the dimensions and weight of a loaded semi-truck, the cargo also needs to be properly balanced to prevent the driver from losing control of the vehicle.
When a large truck is overloaded, the excessive weight adversely impacts the ability of the driver to control the vehicle and brake in an emergency. The extra weight also compromises the performance of brakes and tires. Tire or brake failure causes many trucking collisions, and overloaded trucks cause excessive wear on the brake system and tires of commercial trucks.
When cargo is not properly secured, or a load is excessive or unbalanced, injury victims involved in trucking collisions might have a right to pursue a variety of types of damages including:
- Hospital and medical bills
- Lost past, present, and future wages
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished qualify of life
- Burial or funeral expenses (wrongful death)
- Punitive damages
Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano: Seeking Maximum Recovery for Trucking Accident Victims and Families
Lawsuits involving trucking collisions caused by improper loads can be complicated because multiple parties might be responsible. Our law firm examines the financial responsibility of all parties including the truck driver, commercial carrier, shipper, and entity that loaded the cargo.
Our Miami semi-truck accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano offer the assistance you need to pursue the results you desire. For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida. We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Our skill and dedication have earned us an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.