Commercial trucking operations involve many different parties, which makes it complicated to determine liability in the event of an accident. Cargo loading companies may be held responsible for truck accidents caused by cargo issues such as improper loading or failure to secure the load.
Greg Monforton & Partners’ truck accident lawyers further explain how a cargo loading company could share liability for any resulting injuries and damages. Learn what legal options may be available to you when you schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our firm.
Types of Cargo Being Hauled
Commercial trucks and tractor-trailers are used to haul cargo across multiple provinces and throughout Canada. A variety of cargo may be hauled by different types of trucks.
- Tractor-trailers are a type of commercial truck with a cab and a closed trailer, which most people think of as the typical commercial truck. All sorts of cargo can be hauled in these trailers, as long as it fits inside – home products, electronics, food and drink, furniture and more.
- Flatbed trucks have a cab and open trailer, which are used to transport irregularly sized loads. This commonly includes building materials like lumber or shingles, logs for transport to a lumber mill, heavy machinery and even large loads such as prefabricated homes.
- Tanker trucks carry liquids or gases and require special licenses and training to carry hazardous materials. Cargo hauled by these trucks include gasoline, water, and even toxic chemicals.
Errors Loading and Securing Cargo
When a commercial truck’s cargo is improperly loaded or secured, motorists are put in danger. Cargo loading companies are required to follow specific standards to ensure loads are safe and will not cause issues with the vehicle while in transit.
Errors that may occur in the loading and securing process include:
- Overloading – Every commercial truck has a set weight limit it may carry, which is determined by its number of axles and other factors. A fully loaded truck must not exceed the maximum weight limit, though it does sometimes occur. When a truck’s load exceeds its weight limit, the driver may experience difficulty slowing down or stopping.
- Improper securement – If cargo is not properly secured to or within the truck, it may shift in motion which puts the trailer off balance. When this occurs, the semi driver may lose control over the vehicle, causing it to jackknife, rollover or spill its cargo. Cargo must be secured following the standards for the specific type of cargo.
- Improper liquid cargo loading – Liquids have different loading standards than other types of cargo. Failing to fill a tanker truck enough can cause liquid movement, which throws the trailer off balance while in motion. If the tank is not sealed, the liquid may spill in transit.
Proving Liability for Improperly Secured Cargo
To hold a cargo loading company or other party accountable for accidents caused by improper cargo securement, it must be proven that the party was negligent in their actions and that negligence contributed to the accident taking place.
Numerous parties could hold fault in the matter, including:
- Drivers who failed to appropriately examine cargo balance before disembarking on the route
- Laborers responsible to load cargo who failed to follow procedures to properly load cargo and balance it
- Supervisors who did not give cargo loaders proper guidance to perform the job
- Shipping companies who did not lay out appropriate protocols to minimize the risk of improper loading
Get in Touch With Our Firm Today
If have been involved in a truck accident, many parties could be held responsible, including the cargo loading company. A Windsor truck accident lawyer from our firm is prepared to conduct a detailed investigation to determine if improperly loading or securing cargo caused or contributed to your injuries.
Find out if you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation when you request a free consultation. We charge no upfront fees and payment is only due if we recover compensation on your behalf.
Reach us 24/7 over the phone at (866) 320-4770 or online.