A Georgia woman is lucky to be alive after a sledgehammer fell off a truck and flew through her front windshield as she drove down the highway. The woman was traveling around 60 mph when the 2 ½ pound tool landed inside her car, missing striking her leg by a few inches. While a dump truck had driven past the woman just prior to the incident, it was not immediately known who was responsible for the accident, although the hammer had the name “Jeff H.” on it.
Improperly Secured Loads Or Objects Create Significant Threat To Tallahassee Drivers
Commercial and private truck drivers have a legal responsibility to properly secure their loads. Under Florida Statute 316.520, every driver and vehicle owner has a duty to prevent hauled materials from falling, blowing, shifting, leaking or otherwise escaping from the hauling vehicle by appropriately covering or securing the load. The statute applies to any public road or highway and it applies to any hauled objects, including:
– Lime rock;
– Garbage; and
– Other materials that could blow or fall from a vehicle.
However, a violation of the Florida statute is only a non-criminal traffic infraction that is punished as a non-moving violation.
The rules set out in the Federa lMotor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) establish tougher restrictions on restraining vehicle loads. These rules apply to all employers, employees, and commercial motor vehicles that transport property or passengers in interstate commerce. They require that cargo be properly distributed and adequately secured, and the vehicle’s structure and equipment be secured, including the vehicle’s tailgate, doors, tarpaulins, spare tire, cargo securing equipment, and other equipment used to operate the vehicle. Any cargo securing system also must be able to withstand federally mandated minimum amounts of force.
Under the FMCSA rules, a truck driver must check the truck’s load during a pre-trip inspection and again after 25 miles of travel. The load must then be re-inspected every time the driver parks his or her truck.
Liability For Truck Load Accidents
Unfortunately, when mistakes are made and a truck is negligently loaded or when a truck is improperly maintained, loads can shift or come loose, causing accidents that result in serious injuries. Drivers also can be negligent in their handling of trucks, causing loads to become unsecured.
Some parties who may be liable for truck load accidents include:
– Truck driver;
– Trucking corporation;
– Loading companies;
– Insurance companies;
– Truck part manufacturers; and
– Truck maintenance companies.
Our Tallahassee Lawyers Help Load-Shifting And Lost Load Truck Accident Victims
At Barrett, Fasig & Brooks, our personal injury attorneys can help if you or your family has been hurt by unsecured, unbalanced, or overloaded cargo. Our Tallahassee truck accident lawyers understand the complex laws surrounding truck accidents related to overloaded or improperly loaded cargo. We do what is necessary to help you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve, including conducting a thorough investigation of your accident to determine which parties are at fault and the monetary amount of your losses.
To learn more about how we can help you recover damages for truck accident injuries, call our knowledgeable attorneys today at (866) 346-4186.