Who is at fault if cargo is not loaded properly in Louisiana?

Baton Rouge, LA – There are several hazards associated with truck driving and the business of transporting goods, but issues with cargo can be one of the most serious. When items are not loaded onto a truck correctly, there can be violations of weight regulations, damaged property, and even accidents if these issues cause the driver to lose control or the cargo spills onto the road. 

Driver responsibilities and loose cargo

Federal motor carrier regulations say that the driver is the one responsible for securing certain areas. This includes any straps or ties that secure cargo, doors on the trucks, spare tires, and the tailgate. Most of these objectives are associated with keeping the cargo in one place so that it does not move while the driver is on the roads. If large objects start to shift around and upset the balance of the truck, the driver may lose control. There is also the possibility that loose cargo will be ejected from the vehicle and cause a spill on a highway. This often results in a significant cleanup effort and the possibility of accidents. Hazardous materials that are spilled become especially dangerous. 

There are some rare exceptions to these driver responsibilities, but usually there needs to be specific directions from a company that loads cargo that it should not be moved or disturbed until delivered at its final destination. 

Employer liability

Although the individual driver is usually responsible for their cargo, the trucking company will normally be liable as well. This is because of a tort law principle that says employers are always liable for the actions of their workers while they are engaged in their normal job duties. Things like loading cargo and driving would be considered regular job tasks for a trucker. 

Attaching various parties as defendants

Lawsuits against trucking companies after an accident can be complicated because the number of parties involved. The driver, the company that owns the truck, the company that loaded the cargo, a shop that did maintenance and repairs, the manufacturer of the truck, as well as companies that lease trucks may all be liable based on the facts surrounding certain lawsuits. An attorney for the plaintiff may need to do some investigation and exchange evidence with the defendant to see who is exactly at fault and may end up paying for these losses or utilizing their insurance process. 

Louisiana personal injury attorneys

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf help accident victims with the process of filing personal injury lawsuits in the Baton Rouge area. Anyone who is in need of legal help can contact the firm to schedule a meeting and learn more about their options. 

Firm contact info:

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf

3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806



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