When a truck is hauling cargo, before it hits the road that cargo is typically secured to prevent it from becoming loose during the trip or falling off of the truck completely. However, certain types of cargo can be more difficult to secure than others, mistakes can happen, safeguards can fail and debris can fall off of trucks while in-transit. When this occurs, it can cause problems for other drivers on the road such as hood and windshield damage, accidents and even injury or death. When falling trucking debris results in any kind of damage or destruction, who ends up being liable?
To determine who is liable for trucking debris, we should first note who is responsible for the regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry and has specific rules and requirements outlining how cargo should be secured on commercial trucks. Requirements vary by type of cargo; for example, gravel would need to be secured differently compare to logs or boulders. The intent behind these rules and regulations is reducing the highway and roadway accidents that are caused by shifting cargo or cargo falling off of a truck.
According to the FMCSA, trucking companies hold the responsibility for following cargo securing rules and regulations as well as making sure that all employees and drivers know and follow them consistently too. A guide, published by the FMCSA provides helpful information about cargo securement, and also call for drivers to carefully inspect their cargo before starting a trip and periodically check on their cargo during stops along the way.
If a driver or trucking company does not take reasonable measures to secure their cargo, then it is very likely that they will be held liable for any damage or destruction resulting from their cargo coming loose while in-transit. Other factors can affect liability, such as faulty equipment or accidents caused by other drivers. In these situations, the liability may be shared between the trucking company (if found partially at fault) and other liable parties.
Trucking companies and drivers hold a lot of responsibility for the cargo they transport, which is why it’s essential to have motor truck cargo insurance coverage that covers a variety of possible risks, including cargo liability and debris removal. While sometimes even the most proper methods of securing cargo can fail, a comprehensive cargo insurance coverage policy will remain reliable as a protection against liability claims and debris clean-up costs.
About American Team Managers Insurance Services
Founded in 1998 by Chris C. Michaels, American Team Managers Insurance Services (ATM) has provided wholesale and MGA services to more than 5,000 independent insurance agents throughout the United States. Our goal is to establish close, long-term relationships with our agency partners and insurance carriers and provide competitive products for the Exclusive and Non-Exclusive markets that we serve. For more information on our products and services, give us a call at (877) 671-7503 to speak to a representative.