One of the most common causes of trucking accidents in New Jersey is the overloading or improper loading of large commercial vehicles including semi-trucks, tractor trailers, tankers and 18-wheelers.   Accidents caused by overloaded or improperly loaded commercial trucking vehicles can create unique risks to other vehicles on the road.

These types of accidents frequently involve multiple vehicles which can lead to devastating truck accident injuries including broken bones, loss of limbs, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, internal bleeding, paralysis and even death.

Regulatory Liability

Trucking companies must adhere to both state and federal regulations regarding the loading of commercial trucks.  These regulations impose specific weight limits on commercial truck cargo and require that cargo be firmly secured on or within the commercial truck.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforces multiple laws related to the safe and proper loading of truck cargo.

Accidents Caused by Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Trucks

Improper loading of trucks can occur when the appropriate securing mechanisms are not used such as dunnage materials for cargo protection, dunnage bags, tie downs and shoring bars.  Failure to use proper restraints like wedges, chocks or cradles can cause cargo to roll.

Overloading of cargo can result in overweight loads which violate the commercial trucking industry’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating system designed to limit the amount of cargo weight a truck can transport based on the truck’s brakes, axels, frames, powertrain and suspension system.  Both overloading and improperly loading cargo on a commercial vehicle dramatically increases the risk of a trucking accident.

Improper or overloading of commercial trucks can result in dangerous driving situations including:

  • Jack-knifing and roll overs due to top heaviness
  • Overturning around curves
  • Shifting and improper distribution of cargo
  • Falling debris
  • Cargo falling directly onto other vehicles or pedestrians
  • Increasing speeds going down inclines
  • Tire blowouts
  • Loss of steering control while changing lanes

Dangerous Cargo

Commercial trucks often transport dangerous cargo which can cause serious property damage and physical injury if the cargo shifts or falls off during transport.  Especially dangerous cargo ranges from heavy concrete pipes, metal coils, large appliances, timber and even other motor vehicles.  Many federal and state trucking regulations address commodity specific securement requirements for these types of cargo.

Potentially Responsible Parties

Trucking accidents caused by overloaded or improperly loaded cargo may result from the negligence of several potentially responsible parties.  Truck accident victims should obtain the assistance of an experienced New Jersey truck accident lawyer to help them determine the identity of all potentially responsible parties such as truck drivers, operators, owners, leasing companies, trucking companies, parts manufacturers, parts installers or repairers, equipment sellers and distributors, maintenance companies and road designers.

Contact a New Jersey Truck Accident Attorney Today

If you or your loved one has been injured in a New Jersey trucking accident caused by the overloading or improperly loading of cargo, you may be entitled to compensation.  New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Grungo Colarulo work with families who are experiencing the financial and emotional stress caused by accidents involving trucks or tractor-trailers.

With their extensive knowledge of the complexities of state and federal motor vehicle regulations, including Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations and New Jersey Department of Transportation regulations, our experienced New Jersey trucking accident lawyers will help you obtain the maximum amount of compensation for the costs of past and future medical treatment, drug prescriptions, therapy costs, lost wages as well as damages for pain and suffering.