Columbus Unbalanced Load Truck Accident Attorneys
The way that cargo is loaded into or onto the trailer of a commercial truck is very important because improperly loaded cargo can have severe consequences for an unexpecting truck driver. Unbalanced loads are a common reason for tip-over accidents as well as other collisions caused by a driver’s sudden loss of control of their vehicle.
Federal law requires cargo to be properly distributed and adequately secured as specified in federal law. A truck accident caused by unbalanced loads can often involve numerous parties possibly being liable for all of the injuries or deaths caused in a motor vehicle accident.
Did you suffer catastrophic injuries, or was your loved one killed in a truck accident caused by an unbalanced load in the greater Columbus area? You should only hire a legal team with specific experience handling truck accident cases like these, so be sure to get help as soon as possible.
Rinehardt Law Firm will fight to see that you get justice. Call (419) 529-2020 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Do I Need An Unbalanced Load Accident Lawyer?
When you suspect that an unbalanced load in or on a trailer caused your motor vehicle crash, you are going to want to quickly get an attorney involved because the first thing they will do is commence an investigation into your accident. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better able they will be to preserve crucial evidence relating to your case.
Another critical aspect of an investigation concerns determining who might be liable for your injuries. There are often negligent third parties at shipping agencies that may have been responsible for loading cargo, trucking companies may have had a duty to inspect their vehicles, and drivers have a responsibility to evaluate the balance of their load before they hit the road.
All of these parties could be liable in a truck accident case, and an attorney is going to know how to hold them all accountable. Insurance companies for these parties may attempt to contact you and quickly buy you off through lump-sum settlements, but you must know that whatever you are being offered is probably a fraction of what you are truly entitled to.
An experienced lawyer is going to be able to negotiate a full and fair settlement to your case that covers all of your past, present, and future expenses. If a sufficient settlement offer is not presented, they can file a lawsuit to take your case to trial.
Why Choose Rinehardt Law Firm To Handle My Case?
Rinehardt Law Firm understands the tremendous financial burden that continuing medical care can place on families, so we help our clients obtain medical liens that allow them to continue receiving treatment without having to pay any upfront costs. Payment is instead deducted from any settlement or jury award.
John Rinehardt was certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in 2001. He has also been rated AV Rated Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and received its Client Distinction Award.
Mr. Rinehardt was named one of the Top Attorneys in Ohio by Columbus Monthly in 2012. He is a member of both the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which limits its membership to lawyers who have recorded million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements and only has about 5,000 members in the United States.
AVVO awarded Mr. Rinehardt the Clients’ Choice Award in 2015. He is also a member of the American Association for Justice and Ohio Association for Justice.
Types of Unbalanced Loads Accident Cases We Handle
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 392.9(a) establishes that a truck driver cannot operate a commercial motor vehicle and a motor carrier cannot require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle unless:
- Cargo is properly distributed and adequately secured as specified in CFR § 393.100 through CFR § 393.136.
- The commercial motor vehicle’s tailgate, tailboard, doors, tarpaulins, spare tire and other equipment used in its operation, and the means of fastening the commercial motor vehicle’s cargo, are secured; and
- The commercial motor vehicle’s cargo or any other object does not obscure the driver’s view ahead or to the right or left sides, interfere with the free movement of their arms or legs, prevent their free and ready access to accessories required for emergencies, or prevent the free and ready exit of any person from the commercial motor vehicle’s cab or driver’s compartment.
CFR § 392.9(b) states that drivers of trucks and truck tractors must:
- Ensure that the provisions of CFR § 392.9(a) have been complied with before they drive the commercial motor vehicle;
- Inspect the cargo and the devices used to secure the cargo within the first 50 miles after beginning a trip and cause any adjustments to be made to the cargo or load securement devices as necessary to ensure that cargo cannot shift on or within, or fall from the commercial motor vehicle; and
- Reexamine the commercial motor vehicle’s cargo and its load securement devices during transportation and make any necessary adjustment to the cargo or load securement devices, including adding more securement devices, to ensure that cargo cannot shift on or within, or fall from, the commercial motor vehicle. Reexamination and any necessary adjustments must be made whenever the driver makes a change of his/her duty status, or the commercial motor vehicle has been driven for 3 hours or 150 miles, whichever occurs first.
While federal law requires truck drivers to inspect their cargo as part of their duties, many drivers are on tight time schedules and try to drive through any difficulty they may be experiencing because of an unbalanced load.
Unbalanced loads can cause all kinds of truck accidents, from trailers tipping over, to complete rollover accidents, to excess speeds while going downhill, to loss of control crashes.
Unbalanced Loads Accident Statistics
According to Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2017 from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), overloading or improper loading of vehicle with passenger or cargo was the cause of 16 accidents, or 0.3 percent, in 2017, 12 accidents, or 0.3 percent, in 2016, and 15 accidents, or 0.4 percent, in 2015.
Overloading or improper loading of the vehicle with passenger or cargo was also the cause of four single-vehicle crashes or 0.5 percent, and 12 multiple-vehicle crashes, or 0.3 percent, in 2017.
Cargo equipment loss or shift was the cause of nine fatal crashes in 2017 or 0.2 percent. There were six fatal crashes, or 0.2 percent, caused by cargo equipment loss or shift in 2016, and two fatal crashes, or 0.1 percent, in 2015.
Cargo equipment loss or shift was the cause of eight single-vehicle crashes, or 0.9 percent, in 2017. It was the cause of only one multiple-vehicle crash.
Contact an Unbalanced Loads Accident Attorney in Columbus
Were you hurt in a truck accident caused by an unbalanced load in Columbus or anywhere else in Ohio? If this has happened to you or a loved one, make sure your first phone call is to the Columbus truck accident lawyers of Rinehardt Law Firm.
Our attorneys are dedicated advocates for the rights of our clients, and we will be committed to making sure that you get every dollar that is available to you. We can assess all of your legal options as soon as you call (419) 529-2020 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.