No one expects cargo on the back of a truck suddenly to hurl toward them when driving on a highway.
Other motorists share the road with many large cargo trucks loaded with all products, including hazardous materials, that can come loose anytime if not properly secured.
When large flatbed trucks or semi trucks lose improperly secured cargo on the road due to faulty equipment or unsecured loads, it can cause extreme damage to the other vehicles that are unfortunate enough to be in their wake.
Cargo falls onto other vehicles when cargo spills or falls off a truck. The property damage can injure passengers in the disabled vehicle, even becoming involved in a secondary accident.
Were you injured in a truck accident involving falling cargo? If so, the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help. Contact our truck accident lawyers for a free case evaluation at (888) 424-5757.
Securing Cargo: A Duty for All Trucking Companies & Commercial Truck Drivers
Specific regulations are set by the United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)  and other trucking industry regulators on cargo loading for all motor carriers. The truck or shipping company and the truck driver must ensure that all cargo is correctly loaded and secured before it takes to the road.
Some requirements for adequate cargo loading include the following:
- A minimum amount of tie-downs and steel straps, depending on size and weight
- Cargo shifts must be prevented for all commodities
- Specific rules for hauling select items such as logs, vehicles, and other large products
- Cargo must be able to withstand acceleration, backing up, and turning
Truck drivers often avoid interstate weigh stations whenever possible to save time, and only a small amount of loads are checked by anyone but the loading trucking companies and drivers.
Unfortunately, trucks often carry as much cargo as possible to make fewer trips and optimize time.
Regulations Regarding Safe Transport of Material
Recognizing the severe implications to motorists when material falls from a truck, the United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has developed regulations for how truck companies’ contents are to be restrained.
In particular, FMCSA regulates commodity-specific cargo that can cause significant harm should it fall from a truck onto a roadway or directly into another vehicle.
- 393.126 – Intermodal Containers: The requirements for intermodal containers cover the transportation of these containers on container chassis and other vehicles.
- 393.132 – Flattened or Crushed Vehicles: These requirements cover the transportation of automobiles, light trucks, and vans that have been flattened or crushed. However, vehicles damaged in a crash or accident are subject to the general cargo securement requirements.
- 393.136 – Large Boulders: These rules include: (1) rock within a vehicle designed to carry such cargo or (2) secured individually by tie-downs, provided each piece can be stabilized and adequately secured.
If cargo is not secured properly and falls or shifts while it is being transported, it can cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Falling Load Accident Statistics
- Falling loads cause over 200,000 traffic accidents
- Almost 40,000 people are seriously injured each year from falling cargo
- Falling cargo accidents cost our country billions of dollars
- Nearly half of all falling cargo incidents happen when drivers swerve
Falling Cargo Truck Accident Serious Injuries and Harms
Truck accidents caused by Loose cargo are a severe problem on Cook County roads and highways. It leaves a deadly and dangerous path of destruction in its wake.
Victims often sustain personal injuries, need immediate medical attention, and suffer property damage.
Consult a Chicago truck accident lawyer to review your injuries and determine all possible financial compensation available to you in a Chicago legal claim.
Falling Cargo Truck Accidents FAQs
The truck cargo accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC hold the responsible semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or other drivers legally liable.
Contact our Chicago, IL, falling truck cargo accident lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free case evaluation.
Who Is Responsible for Cargo Falling Off a Truck and Hitting My Car?
If your passenger vehicle was damaged by cargo falling off a commercial truck, you might recover compensation from the other party. If the court finds the trucker or trucking company is not responsible, you can file a spilling cargo claim against your family’s comprehensive insurance company.
You can file a claim or use a specialized fallen cargo accident lawyer representing accident victims harmed when cargo falls from commercial vehicles.
Who Is Responsible for Crashes Caused by Falling Cargo?
Cargo or debris falling off a flatbed truck and causing a motor vehicle crash falls under negligent driver liability laws. Truck drivers, trucking companies, or owners might be held responsible.
Any employee or contractor who improperly loaded the cargo or failed to check if the cargo was secured might also be responsible for paying economic damages for the trucking accident.
What Happens If an Object from a Truck Hits Me?
Many commercial trucks have a sticker near the tailgate reading, “We are not responsible for damages caused by falling cargo or debris!” However, posting a sign on the truck is not a binding contract that affects any driver sharing the roadway, especially if people suffer injuries due to cargo-related accidents.
Nonetheless, the sticker may scare individuals from filing compensation claims to pay for falling cargo truck accidents.
What Do You Do When Flying Debris Hits Your Car?
The truck motorist might not be aware that cargo or debris flew off, causing havoc behind their vehicle. Your first step is not to panic before calling the police to make a report.
After moving away from the accident scene to a safe location off the roadway, collect any evidence available in the area, and take photographs if possible. Safely document your injuries, damage to your property, and any remaining spilled cargo left in the roadway.
Can The Truck Driver or The Trucking Company Be Held Liable for An Accident Caused by Material That Came Off a Moving Truck in Chicago?
Cargo that falls onto the roadway can cause a hazard.
In case cargo falls from a truck and causes an injury or death, it is not always a cut-and-dry case of who is liable. The truck motorist, the company they work for, and the warehouse where it was loaded may all be partially to blame.
While the warehouse may be responsible for loading the cargo, the truck driver is ultimately responsible for inspecting the load to ensure it is safe to haul.
Lawyers Representing People Who Were Injured Due Truck Accidents Involving Falling Cargo
Falling, spilling, and shifting cargo can pose many dangers to vehicles.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our team of truck industry experts has successfully handled many accidents caused by falling debris onto the roadway.
We will use our knowledge of the law and trucking industry standards to ensure that all the parties responsible are held liable for any injuries that occurred from their negligence.
We will pursue a fair settlement to cover your damages if you or a loved one has been injured due to unsecured cargo from a tractor-trailer on an Illinois road or highway.
Contact our falling truck cargo lawyers at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form for a free consultation to discuss your case, and we will not charge any fee until we have secured a monetary award for you and your family.
Resources:  FMCSA