If you’ve suffered an injury on the road because of an accident caused by a trucking company’s negligent loading practices, you may need to hire a Philadelphia unsecured truck load accident attorney to pursue a lawsuit and get your life back on track.
Companies in charge of transporting cargo have a duty of care to other road users. It’s up to them to ensure that public safety is not left at risk because of the way they load items onto their trucks. If an object becomes loose and falls onto the roadway while a truck is traveling at high speed, the results can be disastrous.
If you’re curious about whether you might be entitled to compensation for injuries arising from a situation like this, you should schedule a consultation with an unsecured truck load accident attorney.
How a Philadelphia Unsecured Truck Load Accident Attorney From The Cochran Firm Can Help You
An unsecured cargo truck accident lawyer will be able to help you with every aspect of your response to an accident. Our role extends far beyond arguing with defense attorneys in a courtroom; in fact, that makes up a very small part of what we do.
We begin by sitting down with you for a free, no-obligation consultation, where we’ll discuss the circumstances of your accident, your injuries, and the broader impact the incident has had on your life. If we determine that you should be entitled to compensation, and you’re happy to proceed with legal action, we’ll file a trucking accident lawsuit right away.
From here, the discovery phase begins. We’ll request relevant documents and other forms of evidence from the defendants, and we may also take depositions.
Our aim is not just to win your case, but to secure as much compensation for you as possible. To this end, we’ll negotiate aggressively with the defendants’ insurance company on your behalf to try to agree on an out-of-court settlement. We try to conclude most truck accident cases this way, as it gets you paid much more quickly and saves you the stress of a court battle. However, if settlement negotiations fail to yield a satisfactory outcome, we’ll be prepared to present your case before a judge and jury.
How Do Unsecured Cargo Accidents Happen?
Commercial trucks are responsible for carrying all kinds of essential commodities around our state. However, there are huge risks inherent in moving this cargo from place to place, particularly when it comes to construction materials, heavy household goods, machinery, vehicle parts, and other large items.
In this section, we look at some of the negligent loading practices that commonly cause road accidents in Philadelphia.
Incorrect Loading Procedures
Haphazard, uneven loading can create instability and cause a truck to tip or roll over, or lead to cargo falling off the truck.
Inadequate Securement Devices
Truck cargo must be properly secured with tie-downs, straps, chains, or tensioning devices. Otherwise, it can shift or fall off during transport. These devices can fail due to wear and tear, poor maintenance, or improper use, making it crucial for trucking companies to regularly inspect and maintain their equipment.
Poor Driving Practices
Quick turns, hard braking, or speeding can cause inadequately secured cargo to shift or fall, particularly if the cargo is heavy or unevenly distributed.
Impact of Weather Conditions
Weather conditions can exacerbate the risks associated with improperly secured cargo. For instance, high winds can destabilize a truck carrying a high or wide load. Wet or icy roads can make it harder for a truck to stop, potentially causing a load to shift or fall. If trucking companies knowingly allow their vehicles to continue transporting cargo during unsafe weather conditions, this may amount to negligence.
Federal and State Regulations Regarding Trucking Loads
Recovering compensation in a personal injury case of any type requires the plaintiff (the party filing the suit) to establish liability on the part of the defendant. In a case involving trucking loads, it’s important to know about and leverage government requirements in the area, as it’s much easier to prove negligence if you can show that the trucking company was flouting the rules.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets out detailed regulations all commercial truckers must obey. For example, Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) contains provisions detailing all the parts and accessories commercial trucks must have to be on U.S. roads.
At the state level, Section 4903 of Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Code sets out requirements in relation to securing loads in vehicles. The Vehicle Code also sets out more general requirements that commercial drivers must follow; otherwise, they risk being in violation of the law and facing liability for any accidents they get involved in.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Truck Accidents Caused by Unsecured Loads in Philadelphia
What should I do immediately after an unsecured truck load accident?
Immediately after an accident, you should move to a safe place and seek medical attention without delay. Then, document the scene with photographs, collect contact information from any witnesses, and report the incident to the police. You should also consult with a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
Who can be held liable in an unsecured truck load accident?
Several parties may be held liable in an unsecured truck load accident, depending on the circumstances of the case. Potential defendants include the truck driver, the trucking company, the company or individual responsible for loading the truck, or the manufacturer of the equipment used to secure the cargo. If more than one party bears responsibility for what happened, there may be multiple defendants in your case.
What types of compensation can I expect from my claim?
Damages for trucking accident lawsuits may cover medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering, among other types of economic and noneconomic damages. In some severe cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to penalize gross negligence and deter similar future behavior.
How long does an unsecured trucking load lawsuit take?
The length of time it takes to settle these kinds of cases varies greatly, depending on the complexity of the case as well as its value; insurance companies tend to put up more of a fight when they stand to lose a lot of money in a settlement. Broadly speaking, it can take anything from a few months to several years for a case to reach a conclusion.
Will my case go to trial or can it be settled out of court?
While many cases are settled out of court, some may require going to trial, particularly when liability is disputed or fair compensation cannot be agreed upon. Our skilled attorneys are prepared for either scenario and will advise on the best course of action based on the specifics of your case.
Contact an Unsecured Cargo Truck Accident Lawyer
An unsecured truck load accident can turn your world upside down. However, if the negligence of another party was the cause of your pain and stress, there’s no reason you should have to foot the bill.
At The Cochran Firm in Philadelphia, our mission is to help people in situations like yours. By scheduling a free initial consultation with us, you’ll be able to learn whether you have a viable lawsuit on your hands, and what needs to be done to pursue it. These consultations are free, and there’s no obligation to take things further afterwards if you don’t want to.
Get in touch today, either via our webform or over the phone at 800-969-4400.