Norcross Car Accident Lawyer

The Dangers of Cargo Spills in Norcross

Established in 1870, Norcross, Georgia has a rich and storied past, much of which has been preserved in the town’s historic downtown district. With a population of around 16,500 people, the area retains its charming, small town feel, welcoming visitors who can receive a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of nearby Atlanta. However, Norcross does abut some of Georgia’s busiest and most important highways, which are used by thousands of commercial trucks every year and can pose a risk to commuting residents. Although many truck drivers use great care when transporting dangerous cargo, accidents still can and do occur, which leaves residents vulnerable to collisions and possible injury. Fortunately, those who are injured in car crashes caused by cargo spills can collect compensation from the responsible parties, so if you were recently involved in an accident and suffered an injury or sustained property damage, it is important to contact a Norcross car accident lawyer who can represent your interests.

Federal Law

Drivers who transport cargo must comply with federal rules created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Aside from requiring drivers to meet certain qualifications and comply with driving time limits, these rules also dictate how cargo must be loaded, unloaded, and transported. For example, besides establishing cargo weight limits, these rules also require truck companies to ensure that drivers use appropriate materials to immobilize varying kinds of cargo, including ropes, tie-downs, straps, and shoring bars. The number of tie-downs that must be used is also dictated by federal law, which requires the use of at least one tie-down per 10 feet of cargo. However, cargo that could roll, including concrete pipes and logs, must be immobilized with chocks and wedges, which are specially designed to prevent items from shifting during transit.

Cargo that poses an especially high risk to other drivers, including: lumber, vehicles that weigh over 10,000 pounds each, heavy equipment, and freight containers must be restrained using specific methods outlined by the FMCSA. Companies who do not ensure that drivers follow these loading rules can be held accountable for any resulting accidents.

Liable Parties

A driver’s failure to comply with federal cargo loading rules places other drivers at risk of injury. Fortunately, injured parties who can demonstrate that a driver did not implement federally-mandated practices or were somehow negligent during the loading process can recover damages to cover medical expenses and other accident-related costs. In fact, truck companies themselves can often be held accountable for cargo spills if they:

  • Failed to ensure that drivers were trained on proper loading procedures;
  • Did not provide drivers with adequate shipping materials, including restraints; and
  • Were aware that drivers were not complying with federal regulations, but failed to address it.

Even when a cargo spill was not caused by a failure to load the materials properly, drivers and their employers can be held liable for damages if they:

  • Failed to use reasonable care when driving;
  • Failed to comply with federal driving time rules;
  • Were negligent during the hiring process; or
  • Did not perform adequate maintenance on the truck, which caused an accident and a subsequent cargo spill.

In order to hold a negligent driver or truck company liable for an accident, the injured party must file a claim within two years of the date of the accident, so if you were involved in a collision with a truck or its cargo, it is critical to contact an experienced car accident attorney in Norcross who can advise you.

Call Today to Speak With an Experienced Norcross Car Accident Lawyer

To schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable and compassionate car accident attorney serving Norcross, please contact the Angell Law Firm at (770) 217-4954 today.

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