Trucking plays a vital role in the shipping of products across the nation. Due to its central location and its concentration of business, the greater Chicago area experiences a large truck volume annually through its expressways, interstates, and local roads. Though these trucks bring needed products to the city, they also can pose a threat to the safety of all those on the roads if the trucks are not properly loaded and potentially causing a truck accident.
Understanding trucking laws can be difficult for an average driver because of the interplay between federal and state rules and regulations, coupled with the many different types of trucks. Flatbed trucks hauling product may be subject to a minimum tie-down rule where an appropriate number of straps must be used to secure a load, depending on the size and type of the load involved. Failure to use enough straps or ties may lead to a partial load displacement or roadway spill, causing a hazardous situation that may lead to a crash.
In place of straps, some flatbed loads may be secured with tarps that attached to anchored points on the bed of the trailer. These tarps can be effective if they are snug and secure and without defect; yet use and normal wear and tear can cause a tarp to snag, fray, or otherwise break down, leading to a less secure fit and possibly some unsecured product when a tarp is used to tie down a load.
But flatbed style trucks are not the only type of truck that poses a threat if it is improperly loaded or secured. Traditional semi-trucks with covered and enclosed trailers are often loaded hastily and with little attention to the weight distribution. Ideally, a trailer should be loaded with the makeup of the cargo in mind. Weight should be distributed to ensure an even acceleration and deceleration of the truck when the driver attempts to do so. Further, weight should not be concentrated on one side of the vehicle over the other as it can encourage a rollover accident.
Tanker trucks are heavily used by companies dealing with liquids, including gasoline, oil, petroleum, and even milk. Some handling the loading of these trucks do not worry about the amount of the product within the tanker, believing that the liquid nature will cause it to level out as the product disperses. But in fact, the volume of a liquid within a tanker has a direct impact on the safety of the truck itself. A partially full tanker can lead to the liquid splashing around inside its container, causing serious shifts in the weight distribution of the trailer and potentially leading to a tip-over incident.
Liability for an Improperly Loaded Truck
The job of loading product onto a truck can be assigned to a number of different individuals working for a number of different companies. In some cases, the individual operating a semi-truck will load his or her own rig with product, taking on the responsibility to ensure that all product is properly distributed and secured before driving.
In other cases, a corporation producing and holding the product to be transported may assign an employee to load a semi-truck driven by another individual. And yet in other situations, it may be up to a third party to load a semi-trailer without the knowledge or assistance of the driver or the company producing the product.
The individual and/or the corporation that improperly loaded a trailer may be held liable for any damages that result from the loading, including any injuries that result from a collision. Whether they are medical bills, surgical expenses, lost wages, or even non-economic damages like pain and suffering, a victim may be entitled to seek relief for the damages that result from a crash.
Truck Accident Lawyers in Chicago
If you have been injured in a truck accident in the Chicago area that was caused by an improperly loaded trailer, the laws of Illinois may entitled to you payment. The lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. believe in the rights of those who have been hurt and we fight to help them seek the relief they deserve.
We offer a free case consultation to all injury victims who call us toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575 and we are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call. There is no obligation on your part for speaking with us and everything discussed will be kept confidential. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we never charge our clients a fee unless we make a recovery on their behalf and we front all case-related expenses.
If you were injured in an accident, do not allow yourself to continue to suffer in silence. Call the personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us help you seek the relief you deserve.
If you were hurt in a truck accident in Chicago, call us toll free today at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or Contact Us online for a free case consultation.