We have all seen cars that are overloaded with cargo. While most of these drivers make it to their destination without something falling off their car, sometimes they are not so lucky.
This could be a disaster for driver, but it is also dangerous for others sharing the road. Failure to secure cargo can result in a dangerous crash, especially if the cargo fell from a commercial truck.
If you were injured in a crash caused by loose or falling cargo, Galloway Jefcoat’s Lafayette car accident lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation. We discuss these types of accidents below, including why they happen, liability for damages and more.
Call for legal assistance: (337)-984-8020.
Why Loose Cargo is Dangerous
Drivers have enough to worry about when they get behind the wheel. Cargo on the road is just one more thing that increases the risk of a crash.
While drivers could crash into cargo, it could also turn into a projectile. If the car that was carrying the object was traveling at high speed, the cargo could hit the road and bounce up into another driver’s windshield.
Sometimes cargo is so large, and drivers are so close they do not have time to stop or swerve out of the way. When the cargo hits your car, you may find it difficult to maneuver, or you may lose control.
You may not realize, but if a 20-pound object falls off a car that was traveling at 55 miler per hour, it will generate 1,000 pounds of force if it hits your car.
Types of Crashes Caused by Loose or Falling Cargo
Many crashes caused by loose cargo involve a driver swerving or overcorrecting when he or she sees the object in the road. This could result in a driver spinning out or losing control and crashing into another vehicle or a fixed object on the side of the road.
Some crashes involve the driver hitting the object. This could also cause the driver to spin out or lose control and get into an accident with another vehicle. Heavy cargo being hauled by a commercial truck could bring smaller vehicles to a complete stop, causing catastrophic damage to the vehicle.
If the crash occurs at high speed, other vehicles could get pulled in. This has the potential to cause serious injuries to people in multiple vehicles.
It is important to remember that objects large and small could cause a loose cargo collision. You may be most concerned about things like furniture or appliances, but trash, empty bottles and smaller items also put drivers at risk.
What is the Law in Louisiana on Properly Securing Cargo?
Under Louisiana Revised Statute 32:383 A.(1), a load carried by a vehicle must not drop, sift, leak or otherwise escape. Section B.(1) also notes that any vehicle load must be securely fastened to prevent the covering or load from becoming loose or detached or otherwise posing a danger to other cars.
Cargo Securement Regulations For Trucks
There are federal and state regulations on securing cargo on commercial trucks. These regulations cover various types of cargo and offer specific guidance on tying down or immobilizing cargo in the trailer.
The general rule is that cargo in a commercial vehicle must be firmly immobilized or secured with structures that have appropriate strength, tie downs, shoring bars, dunnage bags or dunnage. A combination of these methods can also be used.
Liability For a Loose Cargo Crash in Louisiana
As drivers have a legal responsibility to ensure cargo is properly secured on or in their vehicles, they can be held liable if cargo falls off and causes a crash. The victim would need to prove the cargo is from the driver’s vehicle and prove how the fallen cargo caused them to crash.
Are You Expected to Avoid Cargo in the Road?
You may also need to establish that you were unable to avoid the crash by taking reasonable steps. For example, maybe you simply did not have enough time to avoid the object because it fell into your path so quickly.
The object may have been moving too quickly for you to avoid it. You may have tried to slow down, but you did not have enough time. You may have wanted to swerve but you did not want to crash into another car.
However, if an object falls far in front of your car and other cars have time to avoid it, you probably have enough time to avoid a collision. Failing to avoid the object could be seen as negligent, especially if it happened because you were distracted.
You can be sure the liable insurance company will try to claim you were negligent in some way, and that was the cause of the crash. That is why you need an experienced attorney to help you seek compensation. Taking pictures at the scene could also help, as they could show that the other driver did a poor job of securing cargo.
Galloway Jefcoat Helps Crash Victims. Call Today
When you have legal questions after a car crash, you need somewhere to turn for answers. Galloway Jefcoat has been a tireless advocate for victims of another driver’s negligence for many years.
Our firm has secured millions for auto accident victims, and we may be able to assist you during this difficult time. An initial legal consultation is free and there are no upfront fees with our services.
Give us a call today to learn more: (337)-984-8020