With busy roadways like Interstate 75 and Florida’s Turnpike running nearby, motorists in Ocala, FL are no stranger to large truck traffic. While you may think the risk of accidents is typically due to careless driving, there are other factors that contribute to truck crashes. Unsecured loads are more of a problem than you may expect, as it’s common for cargo to slip, shift, or become dislodged without proper care in loading and securing it to the trailer. If you or a loved one was seriously injured under such circumstances, you need an experienced Ocala truck accidents lawyer to fight for your right to compensation.
Factors That Make the Load Unsafe: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted many regulations for drivers, shippers, trucking companies, and other parties responsible for loading cargo onto the trailers of 18-wheeler trucks. Failure to comply with FMCSA standards, Florida state laws, or industry requirements for safely securing the cargo can cause dangerous accidents if:
- The trailer was loaded in excess of its stated weight or size limit;
- Proper parties neglected to conduct regular inspections on the semi or trailer stability;
- The harnesses, belts, or other equipment used to secure the cargo were not properly installed;
- Equipment for securing the load was defective; or,
- Other contributing factors.
Plus, a load can be unsecured or unsafe because of the truck operator’s actions behind the wheel. Examples include:
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs;
- Taking curves too quickly;
- Driving erratically; and,
- Texting or using the phone while driving.
Safety Risks from Improperly Loaded Cargo: In many unsecured load incidents, the truck accident occurs when cargo or debris hurtles off the trailer or out of a container. These materials may fly onto the windshields of vehicles behind the semi, penetrating the glass and causing catastrophic injuries to occupants. At minimum, these items create a visibility hazard for the following vehicle’s driver, potentially causing a crash with another car or stationary item.
In other scenarios, improperly secured truck cargo could shift when the operator drives over a bump. If he or she cannot react quickly, the trailer could jack-knife or completely overturn.
Victims’ Rights in Truck Accident Cases: Though federal and state authorities severely punish those who violate regulations regarding proper loading of trucks, these sanctions do nothing to help you as a victim. Fortunately, you may seek compensation by filing a claim for such losses as:
- The costs of medical treatment;
- Lost wages, if you were unable to work because of your injuries;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and,
- Other types of monetary damages.
Consult with an Ocala, FL Truck Accidents Attorney Regarding Your Case
For more information about your rights as the victim of a truck collision, please call Piccin & Glynn to schedule a free case assessment at our office in Ocala, FL. You can set up your appointment by calling 352-581-6174 or visit us online. We can explain your legal remedies after reviewing your situation in more detail.