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Can I Seek Compensation if Injured by Cargo on Georgia Highways?

By Butler Prather LLP on August 10, 2022

Trucking carriers are responsible for ensuring that all cargo on their vehicles and trailers is adequately secured. Failing to do so could lead to the cargo coming loose and falling off of the truck and onto the roadway. Cargo accidents can lead to significant injuries or property damage for those on Georgia roadways. It is important to understand whether or not individuals can seek compensation from the trucking company if they are injured by unsecured cargo on Georgia highways.

Types of Cargo That Can Cause an Accident

Any type of object that falls off of another vehicle could present a hazard for drivers on the roadway. We have all seen “interesting” or unsafe driving practices when it comes to unsecured cargo. Perhaps you have seen individuals with mattresses on the top of their car on the roadway trying to get home. Maybe you have seen pickup trucks filled with unsecured cargo on their way to a dump. Objects fall off of traditional passenger vehicles or out of the bed of passenger trucks all the time, and these can certainly lead to a dangerous roadway incidents.

Perhaps even more concerning dangers caused by cargo falling off of larger commercial trucks. This is a danger commonly associated with semi-trucks with open trailers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for regulating commercial trucking activity across the country. They also set strict rules about securing cargo in or on a trailer. This includes placing any cargo in the correct area to prevent it from shifting or causing an imbalance as well as using certain types of tie downs to secure cargo.

Who Could be Held Responsible?

In the event cargo comes off of another vehicle and causes an accident on the roadway, there may be various parties who could be held liable. If the incident is caused by a traditional motor vehicle and not a commercial truck, then the driver of the vehicle will most likely be held responsible. However, apprehending these drivers can be challenging because the drivers often leave the scene as soon as the cargo comes off of their vehicle. Sometimes, these drivers can be located as a result of eyewitness statements or footage from nearby surveillance cameras.

If the incident is caused by the negligent actions of a commercial truck driver or trucking carrier, then those parties could be held responsible. If an investigation determines that a truck driver or trucking carrier failed to adequately secure cargo, these parties could face an insurance claim or a civil personal injury lawsuit filed by the victims of the crash.

Additionally, there are often third-party loaders responsible for adequately securing cargo between trips. If that is the case, and these third-party loaders failed to secure the cargo, they could also face an insurance claim or civil lawsuit.

Contact an Attorney for Help

If you or somebody you love has been injured as a result of unsecured cargo coming off of another vehicle, you need to reach out to an attorney immediately. An Atlanta personal injury lawyer will work diligently to recover compensation for your losses, including exploring insurance claims or lawsuits against at-fault parties.

Posted in: Truck Accidents

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