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Who is Liable for an Accident Caused by Unsecured Truck Loads?

July 11, 2019

Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers discuss accidents involving unsecured truck loads. According to the most recently compiled crash data, over 4,500 large trucks were involved in fatal traffic accidents in a single year in the United States. Unsecured truck loads are a common cause of these fatal accidents. Loose cargo can become airborne, striking individuals with deadly force or causing the truck to lose control and roll over or collide with other vehicles.

In fact, more than one-third of fatal wrecks involving road debris occur when drivers swerve to avoid objects ahead. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued guidelines to regulate how cargo is to be secured based on the size, type, and weight of the materials being transported. Yet, with the strict and clear guidelines in place, who is liable when loose cargo causes a dangerous traffic accident?

The North American Cargo Securement Standard requires that:

  • Every commercial vehicle’s cargo be safely distributed and secured.
  • The commercial vehicle’s body and equipment, including spare tires, tailgate, and cargo restraining devices be secured.
  • Secured cargo must not interfere with the safe operation and exit of the commercial vehicle at any time.

Trucking Cargo Accident Liability

Every commercial trucker should be aware of and adhere to federal cargo securement standards. If they neglect to properly contain, immobilize, and secure cargo prior to departing, they can be held liable for any damages resulting from unsecured truck loads. Truck drivers and companies can be held responsible for:

  • Overloading
  • Imbalanced loads
  • Cargo that is too close to the edge of the flatbed
  • Cargo against the door
  • Improper use of restraints
  • Unsecured tarps
  • Open or unlocked doors

Determining liability for an unsecured truck load accident depends on establishing precisely how the hazard occurred and who allowed it. If the trucking company promotes and permits unsafe cargo loading practices, they may be liable. If the driver disregards federal guidelines creating a risk to others, they may be liable.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

If you were involved in a truck accident, it is important to document all the information as soon as possible. If you are physically able to do so, take down license plate numbers, collect the contact information of witnesses, and take photos and video of the accident scene. This information can increase your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve after being injured by a careless driver. A Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer can investigate the details surrounding your wreck to determine if negligence is to blame for your accident.

Our Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Represent Victims Injured by Loose Cargo on Trucks

When a truck is moving at an average speed of 50 miles per hour, unsecured cargo can become a deadly weapon. If you have been injured by an object falling off a tractor trailer, you may have cause to bring a claim against the truck driver or their employer. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, our skilled Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers will review your case and recommend the next best steps to take. Call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk.

Areas We Serve

Our law firm proudly serves clients injured anywhere in Virginia or North Carolina on personal injury claims, including cases with traumatic brain injury, spinal and neck injury, wrongful death, and more serious injuries. As Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys with many years experience, our team of lawyers will be ready to fight for you. If you were injured on the job, our Virginia Beach Workers Compensation lawyers are ready to serve you.

Call 757-352-2237 or fill out the online contact form for a free consultation about your personal injury, workers compensation, or other attorney services. Our firm adopts a team approach to every case, so while one primary lawyer will be assigned to your case, you have the benefit of an experienced team of lawyers, all working on your side. We are located in Virginia Beach, VA, and serve clients who were injured anywhere in Virginia or North Carolina.


381 Edwin Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Ph: 757-352-2237 | Fax: 757-352-2220