Cargo Issues and Houston Truck Accidents

Tractor-trailer accidentInjured? You need a competent attorney on your side.

The manner in which cargo is loaded, secured and balanced on a commercial truck may have a direct influence on whether that truck is involved in or causes a traffic collision. How is this possible? These large vehicles are responsible for transporting tens of thousands of pounds of cargo, including hazardous materials or extremely heavy objects. If the cargo on a commercial truck is not properly balanced or secured, or if a truck is overloaded, a driver may be unable to safely operate and maneuver the vehicle. This increases the chances of a collision. The same may apply if unsecured cargo falls from a truck and strikes another vehicle or remains as a dangerous obstacle in the road.

When improperly loaded cargo causes truck accidents, those most likely to be injured are occupants of other vehicles. At Stern Law Group, we are committed to helping clients across the Houston area who have been injured in accidents with 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, big rigs and other large commercial trucks. If you have questions about liability (legal responsibility), the value of your claim and what you can do to pursue financial compensation, please do not hesitate to call a truck accident attorney at our offices at your earliest convenience. We are happy to offer a free consultation to assess your situation and address your concerns.

Though there is nothing we can do to prevent a truck accident from occurring in the first place, there are steps our legal professionals can take to hold at-fault truck drivers, motor carriers and loading companies accountable for their negligence or wrongdoing. We know how to identify violations of state and federal trucking regulations that apply to cargo loading, balancing and securement, and can apply this knowledge to our clients' cases as we pursue maximum compensation for the injuries or losses they have experienced.

Overloaded, Unsecured and Unbalanced Truck Cargo

There are three primary hazards that may occur when truck cargo is not properly handled and loaded:

  • The first applies to overloaded trucks, when cargo is too heavy or too large for the vehicle to safely manage. Overloaded trucks experience undue stress on brakes, steering, suspension and other truck parts and may be extremely difficult to maneuver, even for an experienced driver. Truck parts may fail if a truck is overloaded, or a driver may cause an accident while trying to make a routine maneuver.
  • Unsecured truck cargo is the second hazard that may lead to serious traffic accidents. If cargo shifts during transport, it may affect the truck's maneuverability by creating an unbalanced load. If cargo actually falls from the truck while it is on the road, it may hit another vehicle or may remain as a dangerous obstacle in the road, which could cause a catastrophic collision involving one or more unsuspecting motorists.
  • The third issue presented by improper cargo loading is unbalanced truck cargo. The load a truck is carrying must be properly balanced, side to side and front to back, to make sure the truck maintains its maneuverability. If cargo is unbalanced, a truck may jackknife, roll over or otherwise cause or be involved in an accident even in normally safe conditions. A driver may find it exceedingly difficult to safely control the vehicle.

Because every case is different, we highly recommend involving a legal professional who can offer insight regarding your accident and what role cargo issues may have played.

For a free consultation and case review, please contact a Houston truck accident lawyer today. We look forward to hearing from you.