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How Does Shifting Cargo Cause a Michigan Truck Accident?

 Posted on September 08, 2021 in Personal Injury

Kent County Personal Injury AttorneyIt may seem like common sense to assume that most semi-truck accidents are caused by the actions or negligence of the driver while the truck is in transit. Certainly, truck driver negligence is a factor in many accidents, but sometimes, a truck is predisposed to an accident before it even enters the road. One factor that can greatly increase the risk of a truck accident is improperly loaded or secured cargo. If you are injured in an accident and there is evidence that shifting cargo was a factor, you may be entitled to compensation from multiple parties.

The Importance of Securing Semi-Truck Cargo

While federal regulations place an 80,000-pound gross weight limit on commercial semi-trucks and their cargo, Michigan state law actually permits trucks to carry weight of up to 164,000 pounds, provided that the weight is distributed appropriately throughout the truck such that no axle bears a weight of more than 13,000 pounds. This distribution is crucial to ensuring that the truck can be handled safely.

However, cargo that is not properly secured can shift while the truck is in motion, throwing off the weight distribution and affecting the vehicle’s balance and traction. When this happens, a truck is more likely to overturn, posing great danger to the occupants of surrounding vehicles. Unsecured cargo can also fall off of a truck and obstruct the roadway, especially if the truck has an open bed or the trailer is not closed and secured properly.

To mitigate these dangers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces cargo securement rules. When a truck is loaded, the loading crew must ensure that all cargo is secured with tie-downs, blocks, or other securement devices that prevent it from moving or shifting during the regular acceleration, deceleration, or changes of direction as the truck travels en route to its destination.

Recovering Compensation for Truck Accident Injuries

If you are injured in an accident involving a commercial semi-truck, especially if the truck overturned or dropped cargo onto the roadway, it is important to work with a personal injury attorney who can help you investigate the circumstances of the accident. An attorney can help you obtain evidence from the trucking company, including loading and inspection records, that you may have difficulty obtaining on your own. With this evidence, you may be able to build a stronger claim for compensation from the driver, the employees responsible for loading the cargo, and the trucking company itself.

Contact a Grand Rapids Truck Accident Lawyer

Recovering compensation for truck accident injuries can be complicated, but Attorney John D. Tallman has extensive experience representing injury victims in their claims and helping them stand up to trucking companies in settlement negotiations and litigation. He will thoroughly review your case to help you determine how to proceed. Call our office today at 616-361-8850 to schedule a free consultation with our Grand Rapids personal injury attorney.






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