Trucks Must Be Properly Loaded to Minimize the Risk of a Rollover

November 8, 2019

In Pennsylvania and throughout the country, rollover accidents are a serious problem that are particularly common in cases involving large trucks.  According to data gathered and reported on by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, nine percent of all large truck accidents involve rollovers.

Rollover accidents can be avoided with the exercise of reasonable care.  Drivers and others who fail to exercise reasonable care thus risk exposing others to the dangers of a rollover accident.  If you have sustained injuries in a truck rollover accident, it’s likely that you are entitled to damages as compensation for your losses.

How Improper Loading Can Cause a Rollover Accident

Though rollover accidents have many causes (inadequate maintenance, suspension tuning issues, tire deterioration, and more), one of the chief negligence-related causes is improper cargo loading.  When the cargo load has not been properly secured, or has been unevenly distributed, then that can result in weight and balance problems that are difficult — if not impossible — for the driver to correct during maneuvers.

For example, if a commercial delivery truck has been loaded with cargo that is not properly secured, then the cargo may come loose and slide to one side of the truck during a particularly sharp corner turn, thus causing the truck to overturn.

Different Parties May Be Negligent

Rollover motor vehicle accidents (that were caused by improper cargo loading) may expose multiple different parties to liability, depending on the circumstances.

For example, though it may initially seem as though the driver is the sole negligent party in your accident case, further investigation may reveal that the cargo was loaded by others — perhaps friends or family of the driver, or perhaps even employees of a company.  It is not difficult to imagine a scenario in which the defendant-driver purchased some large, heavy items from the store (or from a warehouse), and the employees of the store loaded it to their truck without giving due consideration to the balance of the cargo, and whether it is adequately secured to the vehicle.

Whenever you bring an action against an employee for negligence, there’s a possibility that you may also be able to attach liability to their employer (pursuant to vicarious liability principles), thus opening up the lawsuit further and giving you access to additional sources of damage recovery.

If you have been injured in a rollover truck accident in which the defendant lost control of their vehicle due to improperly securing their cargo, then you may have an actionable claim for damages under Pennsylvania law.  Litigating truck accident claims can be quite a bit more complicated than plaintiffs anticipate, however, given the possibility of multiple negligent parties (and vicarious liability issues).  We therefore encourage you to get in contact with a qualified Pennsylvania truck accident attorney for assistance.