Overloaded Truck and Unsecured Loads Hazards in San Antonio

Large trucks pose many hazards to other drivers on San Antonio’s roads. Their size, weight and other factors make them extremely dangerous vehicles when involved in traffic accidents. One hazard connected to commercial trucking is the possibility of a lost load. An overloaded, imbalanced truck or an unsecured load could spill cargo and cause a serious truck accident in San Antonio. If you get injured in this type of crash, you may be able to recover financial compensation with the help of a truck accident attorney in San Antonio.

What Are the Federal Regulations on Cargo Loads?

Tractor-trailers are dangerous vehicles by nature. In an effort to make the trucking industry safer for everyone, the federal government has passed laws and regulations that are overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This includes cargo securement rules and truck loading requirements.

Cargo securement rules are in place to keep cargo safely inside a truck’s trailer or secured to the flatbed. This helps to prevent lost cargo loads and related traffic accidents caused by cargo potentially striking other vehicles. The FMCSA’s current cargo securement rules include the use of specific tools and devices to prevent cargo from shifting or falling, such as straps, chains and tiedowns.

Federal laws are also in place to prevent overloaded trucks. The federal weight limit for common carriers is a gross weight of 80,000 pounds. If a truck needs to carry a load that exceeds this limit, it must obtain a special overweight load permit. An overloaded truck is at risk of brake failure, loads shifting in transit, jackknifing and rollovers. When loading cargo onto a truck, workers also must follow rules for balancing the load to avoid an imbalanced truck.

How Truck Companies Can Mitigate These Hazards

To mitigate the risk of overloaded truck and unsecured load hazards, Texas trucking companies and their workers must properly distribute cargo, adhere to weight limits, secure cargo to the truck, conduct regular maintenance checks, and ensure compliance with all other relevant safety rules and standards. In addition, truck drivers should be trained on load securement practices and safe driving techniques to minimize associated hazards.

Who Is Liable for an Accident Caused by an Overloaded Truck or Unsecured Load?

Overloaded trucks and issues with cargo load securement can result in poor vehicle handling, decreased truck efficiency, increased wear and tear on the truck’s parts, shifting or spilled cargo, and catastrophic truck accidents. If a collision occurs due to these preventable hazards, one or multiple parties may bear liability or financial responsibility.

Liable parties can include:

  • A trucking company
  • A truck owner or operator
  • A truck driver
  • A cargo company
  • A maintenance company

Federal common carrier laws make trucking companies vicariously liable for the actions of their employees. This includes truck drivers, even if they are classified as independent contractors. If you need assistance determining who is liable for your truck accident in San Antonio, consult with a San Antonio overloaded truck attorney.

When to Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in San Antonio

Liability can be difficult to understand as a victim of a truck accident. If you have reason to believe that a crash was caused by an unsecured load, an overloaded truck, an overweight truck or an imbalanced truck, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.

You may have the right to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against one or more parties for contributing to your accident. With a San Antonio personal injury attorney’s assistance, you can fight for the financial compensation that you deserve for your property repairs and medical bills.

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