Load-Shifting Injuries in Truck Accidents

An overloaded truck responsible for a load shifting truck accident in New Jersey

One of the most common causes of injuries in truck accidents in New Jersey and New York is load shifting. When the cargo on a truck is improperly secured, it can shift during transit, leading to many types of fatal accidents, including rollovers, jackknifing or even falling off bridges and trestles.

Load shifting is usually preventable. Unfortunately, when reasonable steps are not taken to prevent this shifting, it can cause injuries to passengers, pedestrians, truck drivers and others.

If you have been injured in a truck accident caused by shifting cargo, contact the law firm of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., at 1-800-LAW-2000 as soon as possible. You can also reach us through our online form. We are available to provide a free initial consultation about your case.

Cargo Security Rules

Shipping companies and truck drivers are required to load their trucks safely and to follow a large number of regulations concerning loading, weight, lashing and inspecting cargo. Some of the many laws concerning cargo security can be found in a guide published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

According to the FMCSA, a truck driver must check the load during the pre-trip inspection and again after 25 miles. The load must also be inspected every time the driver parks the truck. There are very specific rules for securing many different types of cargo. All equipment must meet certain standards and must be in good working order.

Unfortunately, sometimes a truck driver or the company loading the cargo can be negligent. When a mistake is made and a load shifts or comes loose, the results can be disastrous.

Different Types of Load Shifting Injuries in Truck Crashes

Unfortunately, drivers on the roads of New Jersey and New York are subject to a wide range of injuries due to trucks’ shifting cargo. When cargo shifts during a turn, it can cause the truck to tip over, often blocking the entire roadway. Cargo can also fall out of the back of a vehicle. This is especially common for uncovered trailers carrying cargo such as logs or spools of metal. In rare cases, an entire load can be lost due to improper lashing.  In these cases, the goods on the truck can spill all over the roadway, causing serious injuries.

Sometimes, improper loading actually causes injury to the driver of the truck. It is possible for a heavy piece of cargo to come loose and move forward when a truck driver hits the brakes. In these cases, the cargo can smash through a header-board or bulkhead and crush or injure the truck driver.

Improper loading can even cause injuries after a truck has stopped. Every year, many warehouse workers are injured by improperly loaded cargo and by the failure of faulty cargo restraint equipment. From falling boxes and leaking drums to broken straps and crumbling pallets, there are many ways to be injured while loading or unloading a truck. Due to something called the loading and unloading doctrine, cases involving warehouse injuries can be very complicated and often include many parties such as shipping and insurance companies.

Establishing Fault in Load-Shifting Injury Cases

After any type of injury caused by a commercial vehicle, your New Jersey tractor trailer wreck lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of your injuries and to figure out which parties are at fault. Calling a lawyer as soon as possible is essential for preserving evidence and investigating the circumstances of the injury.

Some of the many parties that may be held liable for your load-shifting related injuries include:

  • Negligent truck drivers
  • Negligent trucking companies
  • Shipping companies
  • Owners of trailers
  • Manufacturers of faulty restraints
  • Insurance companies under the loading-and-unloading doctrine.

Our New Jersey and New York Lawyers Help Load-Shifting Truck Accident Victims

If you have been hurt by cargo falling off of a truck or by an improperly loaded 18-wheeler, the truck accident lawyers at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., will work to get you the recovery you deserve. We assist truck crash victims throughout New York and New Jersey. Our initial consultations are always free. Schedule a meeting by calling us today at 1-800-LAW-2000 or using our online form.