We are available 24/7 to help you with your personal injury needs. (978) 975-4100

Can falling items contribute to truck accident liability?


The Federal Motor Carrier Administration has regulations in place to ensure that drivers are fully informed on how cargo should be secured to avoid falling off and causing an accident or injury. The general guideline is that the cargo has to be secured so that it cannot move or is contained within a trailer — such as in the case of tractor-trailers — or a truck bed. If the cargo is contained in that manner, the sides of the structure must be strong enough to actually support and contain the cargo, keep it from moving around and prevent it from crashing into the sides of the vehicle.

The specific regulations depend on what kind of materials are being transported, the type of securement being used and whether the cargo is secured in or on the vehicle. If tiedowns are being used, at least the minimum number of tiedowns must be present. If the cargo is still rolling or loose with the minimum number of tiedowns, more must be used until the materials are completely secure.

Cargo such as logs, concrete pipe, metal coils and other construction type material each have individual regulations on how it must be secured. Metal coils weighing 5,000 pounds or more, for example, must be placed on or in the vehicle with the eye vertical and properly secured to protect against rolling.

If a Massachusetts highway accident is caused by a driver who did not follow the proper procedures and regulations when securing the cargo, an injured victim may be able to file a person injury suit against the at-fault driver, seeking monetary compensation. Discussing the particular circumstances of the case with an attorney can help victims better understand if and how the law applies.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Cargo Securement Rules” Aug. 17, 2014


Contact Us