Commercial truck accidents happen every day in our state. The aftermath of these collisions can be catastrophic and deadly. According to data from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), there were more than 10,000 semi-truck crashes reported in the state in the most recent year with comprehensive data. While large truck collisions happen for a wide variety of different reasons, most of them are preventable with proper care.
Too many semi-truck accidents happen because companies fail to take the necessary safety precautions when loading trailers. Here, our North Carolina truck accident lawyers provide a guide to the key things you need to know about improperly loaded trailers—including the risks, the legal responsibilities of trucking companies, and your rights if you were involved in an accident.
An Improperly Loaded Trailer is a Serious Public Safety Hazard
A tractor-trailer poses an inherent risk to public safety. A fully loaded truck is so large and so heavy that it can cause catastrophic damage to other vehicles if a crash occurs. Truckers, trucking companies, and other parties must ensure that they are operating vehicles safely. Among other things, this requires ensuring that the truck’s trailer is loaded in a safe manner. A poorly loaded trailer can dramatically increase the likelihood of a crash. Risks include:
- Additional Braking Distance May Be Required: When a truck’s trailer is poorly loaded, it often takes more time to come to the stop. The extra braking distance may be the difference between a safe stop and a serious crash.
- A Poorly Loaded Trailer May Drift Between Lanes: Tractor trailers that are not properly loaded may drift between lanes. It is much harder for a poorly loaded semi truck to keep its lane integrity.
- A Heightened Possibility of a Rollover Accident: Rollover accidents are among the most serious types of crashes. A commercial truck is at a far higher risk of rolling over if the trailer is not properly loaded and/or cargo is not fully secure.
Know the Law: Trailers Should Always Be Properly Loaded, Cargo Must Be Fully Secure
A trucker, trucking company, or any other business involved in commercial trucking can be held liable for an accident caused by their negligence. Notably, improperly loading a tractor-trailer is negligent.
There are federal rules and regulations in place for commercial trucks and the loading of their trailers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) explains that all semi-trucks used in interstate commerce must comply with the North American Cargo Securement Standard Model Regulations. The failure to do so is negligence.
Truck accident claims are complicated. All large truck accidents in Central North Carolina require an in-depth investigation to determine exactly what occurred and why it occurred. An experienced North Carolina truck accident lawyer can proactively investigate your crash and help you secure the evidence needed to prove that an improperly loaded trailer was a contributing factor.
Commercial Truck Accident Victims Deserve Proper Financial Compensation
Were you hurt in a commercial truck accident in North Carolina? Know your rights. Injured victims can seek monetary compensation through a settlement or personal injury verdict from the negligent defendant (such as a trucking company) and/or an insurance provider. With more than $500 million secured on behalf of victims and families, our North Carolina tractor-trailer accident lawyers are devoted to personalized representation. Through a poorly loaded trailer truck accident injury claim, you and your family may be entitled to recover financial compensation for:
- Emergency room treatment
- Hospital bills and other medical expenses
- Ongoing and rehabilitative medical care
- Lost wages and loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Wrongful death of a family member
Set Up a Free Consultation With a North Carolina Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer
At Paynter Law, our North Carolina commercial truck accident attorneys fight aggressively to get results for our clients. We understand how difficult it can be after a collision to recoup damages and find a way to move on with life. As such, we are on the side of people and families—not trucking companies or their insurers.
If you or someone you know was hurt in a crash caused by an improperly loaded trailer, our legal team can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a top-rated attorney. With a law office in Hillsborough, we handle truck accident injury claims throughout the area.