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Injuries Caused by Unsecured Loads

Whether driving a commercial truck or a private vehicle, every driver has a duty to make certain that their load is properly secured before getting on public roads. Unsecured loads lead to numerous injuries every year when items fall out of trucks and off cars, causing serious accidents and even deaths. A study from the Government Accountability Office found that unsecured loads and road debris caused more than 51,000 accidents, 10,000 injuries, and 440 deaths in the United States in 2010. If you rent a U-Haul or other vehicle for a move, it is important that you have the proper equipment to make certain that your load is secured to prevent injuries and deaths to other people using the roadways. Do not assume that a load will not fall out because it is heavy or because you are only traveling a short distance. Check your load before leaving and make certain that it is properly secured.

Duty to Secure Loads

In Washington, RCW 46.61.655 imposes a duty on all drivers to secure loads: “No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any public highway unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping therefrom...” RCW 46.61.655. The duty to properly secure a load includes the duty to secure it such that it will not detach in a collision on the highway. “One of the foreseeable causes of load detachment is sudden stops or sudden movements caused by a highway collision.” Skaie v. Mercer Trucking Company, 115 Wn. App. 144 (2003). In Skaie, the court imposed a duty on a driver to secure a load so that it would not fall off and create a hazard to other users of the road during a collision. Id. at 151. Even if the unsecured load does not initially cause the collision, the driver of an unsecured load can be found liable for injuries caused by the improperly secured load when the load falls off in a collision caused by someone else.

Compensation for Injuries Caused by Unsecured Loads

If you or a family member were injured or killed due to another driver’s unsecured or escaped load, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the harm caused by the other driver’s escaped load. Washington law allows for the recovery of compensation for pain and suffering, disability, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, medical expenses, and many other types of damages for injuries caused by the failure to secure a load. The type of compensation that you may be able to recover will depend on the specific facts of your claim. Our lawyers offer a free claim evaluation to help you determine the types of damages you may recover for the harm caused by an unsecured load.

Free Consultation

Our award-winning personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation for people injured by unsecured loads. Contact our firm today to find out more about your right to monetary compensation following an injury from an unsecured load.