Semi-trucks in Mississippi carry massive amounts of freight that can weigh up to tens of thousands of pounds. This cargo must be loaded perfectly to ensure its safety, the safety of the driver and other road users. If you got into an accident with an improperly loaded transport vehicle, here’s what you should know.
Understanding improper loading
There are many ways that a cargo load can be improperly secured. The most common ones include:
- Imbalanced weight – This occurs when cargo weight is unevenly distributed on the transport vehicle. It could affect the suspension, tires, axle housings, and the truck’s overall frame causing it to puncture, buckle or break. An imbalanced trailer could also affect the braking system or even lift the tires while the semi-truck turns.
- Overloaded – This happens when a truck carries more weight than what it’s supposed to or beyond its axle limit. An overloaded truck has an increased chance of breaking down and could even tip over.
- Improperly secured – If the cargo isn’t properly secured, it could shift while the truck is in motion. This movement can cause the driver to lose control and crash.
- Cargo that extends beyond the bed – If part of the cargo hangs over the edge of the trailer, it could get caught on something and rip open the side of the trailer. This can result in the spilling of the trailer’s content onto the road, putting pedestrians and other drivers at risk.
What to do when you get into an accident with an improperly loaded semi-truck?
Mississippi is a fault state for motor vehicle accidents. This means that if you got into an accident with an improperly loaded semi-truck, the trucking company or driver would be held liable for your damages.
To file a lawsuit, you will need to prove that the trucking company or driver was negligent in loading the cargo. You will need evidence to back up your claims, such as photos of the accident, witness statements, police reports and medical records.
In your pursuit of getting the compensation you rightfully deserve, you should be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a claim against the driver or the company whose truck you got into an accident with. Typically, you have only two years, but the court can extend this period depending on your situation’s complexity.
If you have been injured as a result of a truck accident, you should consult with an experienced attorney who handles these specific types of cases.