Truck Cargo Securement: Legal Obligations and Liability

find out how truck cargo securement may play a role in a crash

The transportation industry is a critical component of our economy, with trucking playing a significant role. However, the securement of cargo in trucks is a matter of utmost importance, for the safety of both the goods transported and of other road users. This blog post will examine the legal obligations and liabilities concerning truck cargo securement, as described by a Lawrenceville truck accident lawyer.

Legal Obligations to Secure Cargo

In Georgia, as in the rest of the United States, truck cargo securement is regulated by both federal and state laws. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established regulations that apply to all commercial motor vehicles operating in interstate commerce. These regulations, stipulate that a minimum of one of the following conditions must be met:

  1. Cargo must be “fully contained by structures of adequate strength.”
  2. Cargo must be “immobilized by structures of adequate strength or a combination of structure, blocking, and bracing to prevent shifting or tipping.”
  3. Cargo must be “immobilized or secured on or within a vehicle by tiedowns along with” other particular securement methods.

In addition to federal regulations, Georgia has its own set of laws governing cargo securement. For instance, under Georgia Code § 40-6-254, it is unlawful for any vehicle to drive or move on any highway unless the vehicle’s cargo is adequately secured to prevent dropping or shifting of the load.

Truck drivers must ensure that cargo is secured by dunnage or dunnage bags, shoring bars, tie-downs, or a combination of securement tools. Cargo that can roll must also be secured using chocks, wedges, or a cradle to avoid moving.

Liability When Truck Cargo Is Not Secured

When cargo is not properly secured, and an accident occurs, multiple parties could be held liable. These parties may include the truck driver, the trucking company, the shipper, and the cargo loader.

Truck Driver

The driver has a responsibility to inspect the cargo and its securement devices and ensure that the cargo is properly secured before the journey begins.

Trucking Company

The trucking company can be held liable if it failed to train the driver properly on cargo securement techniques or if it neglected to maintain the equipment used for cargo securement. Trucking companies are also responsible for ensuring that their drivers conduct pre-trip and post-trip inspections as required by law.

unsecured cargo can cause traffic accidents

Shipper

The shipper could be held liable if it loaded the cargo improperly or failed to use the correct securement devices.

Cargo Loader

If a third-party cargo loader was involved, they could also be held liable if they did not follow proper cargo securement procedures.

How an Attorney Can Assist in Accidents Involving Unsecured Cargo

If you find yourself involved in an accident caused by unsecured cargo, it is crucial to seek legal assistance. An experienced Lawrenceville trucking crash attorney can provide invaluable help in several ways:

Investigation

A thorough investigation is critical in such cases. An attorney can help gather evidence, interview witnesses, and work with experts to reconstruct the accident scene. This can help determine the cause of the accident and identify the parties responsible.

Filing Claims

An attorney can assist you in filing claims against the liable parties. This could include the truck driver, the trucking company, the shipper, or the cargo loader. They can help ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed accurately and submitted on time.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies often try to minimize the compensation they pay out. An attorney can negotiate with these companies on your behalf, fighting for a fair settlement.

Representation in Court

If your case goes to court, you will need legal representation. An attorney can represent you, presenting your case and arguing on your behalf.

Securing Compensation

Ultimately, an attorney’s goal is to help you secure compensation for any damages you’ve suffered. This could include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Contact a Lawrenceville Truck Crash Attorney Right Away!

Proper cargo securement is not just a matter of following regulations; it is a matter of public safety. When cargo is not properly secured, it can lead to accidents, causing damage, injury, or even loss of life.

Failure to comply with cargo securement regulations can result in severe penalties, including fines, out-of-service orders, and liability for damages in the event of an accident. If you have been in an accident due to unsecure cargo contact The Weinstein Law Firm at 770-HELP-NOW to get the compensation you deserve.

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