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Unsafe Loading

Indiana Personal Injury Law

The Indiana truck accident lawyers at Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse LLP are distinguished for their commitment to personal injury law, having concentrated their practice in this area for over 40 years. We have fought for the rights of numerous truck accident victims injured by unsafe loading and other acts of negligence. Our offices are conveniently located in Lebanon and Indianapolis to serve personal injury and wrongful death victims across the state.

Safe Loading of Trucks

Workers loading trucks suffer some of the highest incidents of occupational injury and death in the United States. Unsafe loading and dangerous materials pose an even greater hazard to unwary travelers on the road. For this reason, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulates the off-highway loading of trucks traveling between marine and airport terminals, shipyards, railroads, industrial plants, and retail locations to serve industries such as those involving:

  • Logging
  • Oil and gas
  • Meat packing
  • Grain handling
  • Beverage delivery
  • Grocery warehousing

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration likewise sets forth regulations for cargo securement. Indiana laws reflect federal regulations in requiring the safe loading and unloading of trucks traveling through interstate commerce. Commercial vehicles on Indiana roads are subject to numerous requirements to prevent articles from shifting or falling from trucks.

Safe Truck Loading Rules

Federal and state laws require most cargo-carrying trucks to firmly secure loads and even prescribe performance criteria that cargo securement systems must withstand. These involve forces associated with forward deceleration and rear or lateral acceleration. Other requirements for proper securement devices include:

  • Cordage
  • Rub rails
  • Tiedowns
  • Wire ropes
  • Steel straps
  • Alloy chains
  • Shoring bars
  • Headerboards
  • Anchor points
  • Blocks, bracing
  • Front end loading
  • Synthetic webbing
  • Working load limits

Cargo must be firmly secured either on or within the truck by structures of adequate strength to support the load, requiring sufficient loose material to protect cargo and inflatable bags between the cargo and the walls of the commercial vehicle. More detailed rules govern the loading of specific commodities including:

  • Firewood
  • Metal coils
  • Concrete pipe
  • Large boulders
  • Dressed lumber
  • Cars, trucks, vans
  • Intermodal containers
  • Flattened, crushed vehicles
  • Heavy equipment, machinery

The devices securing cargo must be at least half the weight of the loaded articles. This requires a sufficient number of ties strong enough to secure the cargo. Safe loading rules are more stringent for mixed or heavier cargo such as girders, trusses, cranes, and steel or concrete beams. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in personal injury liability.

Unsafe Truck Loading Liability

Indiana law protects victims injured in truck accidents caused by unsafe loading. Negligent drivers and employees that fail to properly secure cargo expose others to injury from falling debris. Whether the damage is caused by loose gravel or heavy boulders, at-fault parties must provide compensation for the loss. Because businesses are liable for the negligent acts of the drivers and workers they employ, they are also responsible for damages. Successful claimants are entitled to compensation for lost income, medical expenses, pain, suffering, and other benefits resulting from personal injury or wrongful death.