If you were injured in a truck accident caused by an overloaded truck or truck debris, contact Abel Law Firm to help you determine your legal options for compensation. You are entitled to hold the truck driver or their employer liable for the trauma they caused. Your injuries resulted from someone’s negligence, and you shouldn’t be forced to cover exorbitant medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses.
Since 1976, Abel Law Firm has held negligent parties accountable for their actions and fought for the justice our clients deserve. When you hire us, our Oklahoma City truck accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate the truck accident to determine who was at fault, and we will also work to determine the full extent of the damages you should recover.
We go above and beyond in every single case, and our greatest pride is the respect and praise we’ve earned from our clients. To learn more about how we can help you in your case, call (405) 239-7046 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Oklahoma City overloaded vehicle accident lawyers.
Cargo Regulations for Commercial Trucks
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the weight and size limits of cargo and the correct way to secure everything onto the back of a vehicle.
Any system, structure, or part that keeps cargo in place must function properly and not contain defects or damage. Manufacturing standards also exist for the types of tie-downs you can use, such as steel strapping, chains, cordage, and webbing.
Regulations require those responsible for loading cargo to secure and attach tie-downs, so they don’t release, open, loosen, or unfasten during transport. Edge protection must be used to prevent abrasion or cutting if any tie-down could come in direct contact with the cargo. The load must also remain inboard if the trailer contains rub rails.
Rules for the number of tie-downs needed in relation to cargo size and weight are as follows:
- No more than 5 ft and 1,100 lbs: 1 tie-down
- No more than 5 ft and over 1,100 lbs: 2 tie-downs
- 5 to 10 ft in length: 2 tie-downs
- Over 10 ft long: 2 tie-downs for the first 10 ft and 1 tie-down for each additional 10 ft
Cargo must not shift or fall off the truck when the driver slows down or speeds up in any direction. The acceptable forces of deceleration/acceleration include:
- 0.5 g acceleration laterally
- 0.5 g acceleration rearward
- 0.8 g deceleration forward
Vehicles and Cargo
All cargo securement rules apply to any commercial truck that transports cargo, except ones lacking structure or a fixed shape, such as gas and liquid cargo vehicles. Commercial vehicles contain a tank, box, hopper, or similar container that makes up part of the vehicle.
Who You Can Hold Liable After an Overloaded Vehicle or Vehicle Debris Accident
When cargo falls off a commercial truck, or an accident occurs due to overloaded materials, liability typically falls on the person or company who loaded the cargo. According to Oklahoma’s fault system, the party that causes someone else’s injuries is automatically liable for the resulting losses. If you can prove the truck driver or trucking company’s actions led to the crash, you might be entitled to financial compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Common reasons a truck driver is liable include:
- Loaded cargo past the maximum weight or size limits allowed
- Failure to inspect the vehicle’s stability
- Speeding or driving recklessly with loosely secured items
- Failure to use adequate securement systems
- Knowingly loaded cargo with defective or damaged tie-downs
Common reasons a trucking company is liable include:
- Hiring an inexperienced or unqualified driver
- Lack of maintenance and repairs on all securement devices
- Failure to provide proper training on federal trucking regulations
- Failure to supervise employees while they’re loading their vehicles
Another party that might be responsible is the cargo loading company if one was used. Whether the driver, their employer, or a cargo company is responsible for your accident, you have the right to hold them accountable. Their careless actions led to your injuries, and you should not be the one to pay for any of your expenses.
Calculating the Value of a Case
You likely received economic and non-economic damages if you sustained injuries in an overloaded vehicle or vehicle debris accident.
Economic damages are expenses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Past and future lost wages
- Property damage
Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses, such as:
- Mental anguish
- Disability or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
When an insurance adjuster or jury reviews all the elements of your case, they will have to devise a way to calculate your non-economic damages fairly. Since they can’t refer to an invoice or receipt for things like mental anguish, they might use some of the contributing factors below to determine the value of your case:
- Type and severity of the injury
- Length of the recovery period
- Duration of medically necessary treatment
- Impact on daily life and routine
- The estimated cost of future medical expenses
- Whether the accident led to impairment or disability
- Mental trauma suffered
- Total medical bills and other expenses
Abel Law Firm knows the importance of receiving an appropriate financial award covering all your past and future damages. You should not have to pay for anything out of pocket. The at-fault party that caused your overloaded vehicle or vehicle debris crash should be the one who takes on the financial responsibility.
Why Choose Abel Law Firm?
Our legal team has over 130 years of combined experience working with truck accident victims. We have seen the devastation a situation like this can cause. It impacts every part of your life, including your job and family. While treating your injuries, you might worry about whether you can afford the bills. Financial strain is common among our clients. When you hire us, we will create a strategy to build a strong case and ensure you receive the maximum compensation.
Abel Law Firm has the experience and resources to hold people accountable for the harm they cause. When you suffer injuries due to another person’s negligent actions, it’s your right to pursue a legal case. We will advise you on the available options, guide you through the legal process, and provide the support you need to get through this overwhelming time.
If you were the victim of a truck accident due to debris or an overloaded vehicle, call us at (405) 239-7046 immediately. We are available 24/7 to take your call.