Improper loading increases the risk of a truck accident in more ways than one. For example, it may interfere with weight distribution on the truck or lead to cargo falling off the truck. It's important to consult with a semi truck crash attorney to see who may be held responsible for your accident. Here are some of the parties that may be liable for such an accident:
In most cases of automobile accidents, the driver is likely to be at least partially liable for the damages. This makes sense because the driver is the one in charge of the car on the road, which means they control what happens and how safe their machinery is. When it comes to improper loading accidents, driver liability is not only because they are the ones taking the trucks on the road. Truck drivers are expected to inspect their cargo and confirm that the cargo is safe. A safe cargo should have evenly distributed weight, should not overload the truck carrying it, and should be firmly secured in place, among other things. Therefore, a driver who fails to inspect their cargo may be liable for the accident caused by the improper loading.
Anyone who participates in the loading of a truck may be liable for the accident caused by improper loading. This is because they are the ones in direct control of how much cargo gets on the truck, how secure it is, and even how it is placed in the truck. For example, truck loaders who make a mess of the process by rushing the job and failing to secure the cargo will be held liable for the accident if the cargo slips off the truck and onto the road, causing an accident.
There are also cases where the owner of the cargo may be liable for an improper loading crash. One example is if the owner of the cargo is aware that the trucking company engages in improper loading practices but doesn't take the necessary precautions to prevent it. Another is if the cargo is inherently dangerous, for example, boxes of explosives. In such cases, the owner of the cargo may be strictly liable for the accident irrespective of their role in it.
The Truck Company
Lastly, the trucking company may also be liable for the accident caused by improper loading of their trucks. Here are some of the reasons the trucking company's liability in such a case:
- The application of vicarious liability laws make employers liable for the negligent actions of their employees.
- Negligent hiring and retention may make the company liable for the accident if they hired dangerous drivers or loaders.
- The company may also be liable for the accident if it didn't follow federal guidelines on truck loading.
If you have been involved in a truck accident case involving improper loading, get in touch with an attorney today.