Overloaded commercial trucks can pose a serious risk to truckers and other drivers on the road. Truckers and factory workers who assist in getting cargo onto and off of trucks can face a significant risk of injury as they load and unload trucks when cargo is not loaded correctly or shifts during transport. It is crucial that truckers receive training on the proper methods of loading and unloading the trailer so they can protect themselves and those around them. If a trucker or warehouse worker is injured in the course of loading or unloading a semi, then he or she may have a claim for compensation against his / her employer and other companies who assisted in stacking materials on the truck.
If you are a trucker, loader or dockworker and have been injured while performing loading duties for your position, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Illinois semi-truck accident lawyers. Our lawyers are experienced in dealing with negligently loaded truck cargo accident cases, and we can pursue monetary compensation on your behalf.
Federal and Illinois Truck Loading Laws to Protect Truckers and Workers
There are stringent loading laws at the federal and state level. The commercial trucking industry is one of the most heavily-regulated industries in the U.S. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responsible for implementing trucking regulations to ensure that workers are safe in the midst of performing their duties. These laws also aim to reduce the number of trucking accidents that occur in interstate commerce. The laws maintain that:
- Cargo must be appropriately distributed and adequately secured
- Doors, spare tires, the tailgate, and tailboard must all be securely fastened
- Cargo must not obscure a driver’s view
- Truckers must perform compliance checks before driving on the road to ensure adherence to the regulations
- Cargo must be inspected within the first 50 miles of a trip and adjusted as needed
- Cargo that may roll must be restrained
- Vehicles with heavy loads must meet Special Purpose Vehicle requirements
- Security requirements must be met for specific commodities, such as metal coils or cars
- Truckers must ensure the proper use of tie-downs and prevent items from becoming loose, unfastened, opened or released while the truck is on the road
Trucking companies should also provide truckers with the essential training involving recent regulations impacting particular commodities. For example, Rule 393.124 states that concrete pipes must be bundled tightly together rigidly to eliminate any tendency to roll. Rule 393.128 requires that cars must individually weigh less than 10,000 pounds. The federal regulations are precise, and truck drivers must abide by them to prevent accidents, protect other motorists and ultimately protect themselves from harm.
The Illinois Department of Transportation also has specific regulations for the legal weight of trucks in the state. Truckers have a duty under Illinois law to complete a pre-trip inspection. Truckers must ensure that a truck is not top-heavy, meaning that the truck does not tend to tip over. Truckers must also abide by the following guidelines for securing cargo in Illinois:
- Blocking and Bracing: Blocking must be used to ensure that cargo is tightly fitted. Bracing is also used to prevent slipping and sliding of freight.
- Cargo Tiedown: Ropes, straps, chains and tension devices should be used to prevent cargo from shifting inside of a truck.
- Header Boards: The header board is used to protect a trucker in the event of an accident. The trucker has a shield between him and any cargo within a truck.
- Coverings for Cargo: Covers should be used to protect freight from weather conditions and also protect people from spilled cargo.
Lawyers for Trucker and Delivery Dock Worker Injuries Arising from Truck Cargo Loading Accidents
When a trucker does not correctly load a truck, he or she can suffer from tremendous injuries. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reports that truckers can experience the following injuries in the course of their duties:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Fractures and broken bones
- Severe strains and sprains
- Muscle soreness
- Head injuries
- Stuck by falling object
- Contact with sharp objects
- Contact with harmful substances
- Trucking accidents
Contact the Illinois semi-truck accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC to learn more about your legal rights. Our attorneys can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. When you have been injured by a negligent truck cargo loading accident, you may have multiple claims against the trucker's employer or the manufacturers of safety devices. Our attorneys welcome the opportunity to figure out the best way to serve your case.
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Our law firm has experience representing workers injured in loading dock accidents, view our page here for more information.