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Austin Lost Load Truck Accident Attorneys

If you suffered an injury in a truck accident caused by inadequately secured cargo, contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury for legal representation. You might be entitled to substantial compensation from the negligent party.

The truck driver and trucking company are supposed to ensure the cargo loads on the trucks follow proper weight and size requirements and include adequate securement systems. If they’re careless, the load could fall off the truck and cause a serious crash.

Semi-trucks and 18-wheelers are common vehicles for transporting goods around the country. Most consumer products end up in warehouses and retail stores because someone travels with them in a large commercial truck.

However, there are laws everyone in the trucking industry must follow. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates these laws and enforces safety procedures. When loading cargo, workers must adhere to those FMCSA regulations, so they don’t harm themselves or other motorists on the road. If they choose to ignore those regulations and another driver gets hurt, they could be held liable.

At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we make it our mission to hold wrongdoers responsible for their mistakes and use all our resources and skills to fight for our clients. It’s an approach that has earned us praise from both our clients and our peers.

Call Gibson Hill Personal Injury at (737) 249-6300 if you were the victim of a lost load truck accident and are ready to learn about your legal rights. We’re happy to meet with you at a free consultation to discuss your options.

Truck Accidents That Lost Loads Can Cause

There are different types of truck accidents lost loads can lead to. When the person responsible for loading the cargo doesn’t use proper methods, it can shift during transit, throwing the truck off balance or falling onto the road. Debris in the road is dangerous and can result in a severe crash and fatal injuries.

Rollover Accident

When there’s unsecured cargo on a commercial vehicle, it creates uneven weight distribution. If the truck driver tries to make a narrow turn or slam or their brakes, the cargo might shift, and that imbalance could cause the truck to rollover.

Jackknife Accident

When the front of the truck and trailer swing towards each other, that’s known as a jackknife. If cargo isn’t tied down correctly or the weight exceeds the maximum limit, it can shift and cause the trailer to slide towards the front cab and the driver to lose control.

Toxic Materials

Transporting hazardous chemicals is dangerous. If the truck driver doesn’t load everything properly, and an accident occurs, the initial impact of the crash and any materials that spill out onto the road can lead to various injuries. FMCSA issues regulations the trucking industry must follow when handling and loading toxic chemicals on commercial vehicles.

Lost Load

There are specific securement systems in place when you’re tying down cargo. If you use damaged tethers or tie downs, they could break, and the items can fall off the back of the truck, causing other vehicles to swerve, which could lead to a multi-vehicle crash.

FMCSA Safety Requirements for Cargo

To avoid a lost load truck accident, you should follow all the regulations below:

Vehicles and Cargo

Rules for proper cargo securement are for commercial vehicles that carry cargo. The exception is any load that lacks a fixed shape or definitive structure, such as liquid, gas, or sand. A commercial truck can include a box, tank, hopper, or another device as part of the whole vehicle.

Performance

When a trucker drives their vehicle, they must ensure the cargo can’t fall off the truck or shift during any deceleration or acceleration forces. These forces include the following:

  • 0.5 g acceleration laterally
  • 0.5 g acceleration in a backward direction
  • 0.8 g deceleration in a forward direction

Securement Systems

Any structure you use to secure the cargo load must be in great condition and not contain any damage or defects. Manufacturing standards include the type of tie-downs you should use and how they should function. Tie-downs include webbing, wire rope, cords, chains, and steel strapping.

When you attach and secure your tie-downs, you must do it in a way that prevents any of them from releasing, opening, or coming loose while you’re transporting the goods. If there are rub rails on the trailer, you have to secure the load inboard if it’s practical. Edge protection is also necessary if any tie-downs could come in direct contact with the cargo.

There are also regulations for how many tie-downs you’re supposed to use with each item on the trailer.

  • 1 tie-down for goods a maximum of 5 feet and 1,100 pounds
  • 2 tie-downs for any items less than 5 feet and weight above 1,100 pounds
  • 2 tie-downs for cargo between 5 and 10 feet
  • For items longer than 10 feet, two tie-downs for the first 10 feet and one tie-down for each additional 10 feet

Who Can I Hold Liable for My Injuries?

When a truck accident occurs because of a lost load, that’s considered negligence. Texas follows a fault system that automatically places financial responsibility on the at-fault party. If you sustained an injury, you could file a claim with their liability insurance company or seek compensation from a lawsuit.

Truck Driver Negligence

You could hold the truck driver liable for your accident if they exhibited any of the following behaviors:

  • Reckless driving, such as speeding
  • Failed to inspect the truck’s stability
  • Loaded the cargo above weight or size limits
  • Used damaged or defective tie-downs
  • Failed to secure all cargo properly

Trucking Company Negligence

If any of the circumstances below existed at the time of the crash, you might be able to hold the trucking company liable:

  • Hired an inexperienced or unqualified driver
  • Failed to provide training on FMCSA regulations and methods for adequately securing cargo loads
  • Failed to monitor the securement methods used by the drivers
  • Didn’t perform regular maintenance or repairs to securement devices
  • Failed to conduct a thorough background check and review the truck driver’s driving history

Hire an Experienced Attorney to Fight for Your Rights

If you got hurt in a lost load truck accident, you should seek medical care immediately and hire a lawyer from Gibson Hill Personal Injury. Recovering from an injury while dealing with a legal case is overwhelming and stressful. You won’t have to go through this alone. When you hire us, we’ll take the burden off of you and handle every step ourselves.

We will begin our investigation by locating crucial evidence that proves liability, such as:

  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Security footage and pictures
  • Truck driver logs
  • “Black box” data from the truck
  • Police reports
  • Evidence from the accident scene
  • Trucking company documentation, such as training programs, employee records, and maintenance/repair logs

During any lost load truck accident case, we must prove negligence. There are five elements of negligence we’ll have to show existed at the time of the crash to collect compensation.

  1. Duty: The negligent party owed you a reasonable duty of care to behave in a way that would prevent an injury;
  2. Breach of duty: They breached their duty of care;
  3. Cause in fact: Their breach, and nothing else, directly caused your injury;
  4. Proximate cause: Any reasonable person would know that the at-fault party’s actions could cause someone harm; and
  5. Damages: You suffered an injury that led to damages.

We Can Help You Determine the Value of Your Case

When you hire Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we’ll review all the information we find to decide the amount of money you deserve for your damages. Truck accidents typically result in severe injuries that require ongoing medical treatment. Over time, medical bills add up, and if you’re unable to work, you won’t have a way to support yourself and your family.

All truck drivers and trucking companies have liability insurance. Auto liability insurance can cover an injured victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. A general liability policy held by a company can cover all expenses related to someone’s injury. Whether the driver or their employer was negligent, you can file an insurance claim and pursue damages.

Damages refer to a person’s losses. These losses include economic and non-economic damages.

Examples of economic damages caused by a lost load truck accident include:

  • Medical expenses, past and future
  • Lost wages
  • Car repair or replacement
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Property damage

The non-economic damages victims of lost load truck accidents can suffer include:

  • Mental anguish
  • Permanent impairment or physical disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium

Speak to an Austin Lost Load Truck Accident Attorney Today

Gibson Hill Personal Injury understands how much you’ve been struggling after your accident. Truck accidents can result in debilitating injuries that require extensive medical care. If you’re out of work and unable to earn a living, you might wonder how you’re going to afford your medical bills and household expenses.

When you hire us, we’ll work efficiently to promptly resolve your case and get you on the road to recovery. We’ll provide reliable legal services and help you get through this challenging situation. It’s a traumatic experience, and we want you to heal from your injuries and put the pieces of your life back together.

If you were the victim of a truck accident caused by a lost load and sustained injuries, contact an Austin truck accident attorney by calling (737) 249-6300 today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll discuss your legal rights and options for seeking a monetary award.