Falling Cargo From Interstate Motor Carriers

Log TruckAll drivers know that our interstate highways are crowded with trucking companies hauling cargo to destinations throughout the United States. The Code of Federal Regulations addresses requirements for proper cargo securement. These regulations are found at Title 49, Chapter 3, Parts 392.9 and 393.1 through 393.136. These cargo securement regulations are quite specific and provide commodities specific regulations for machinery, logs and other products. Obviously, the general requirements include specified performance criteria for the securement system being utilized by the trucking company. The regulations also require a certain number of tie downs to secure the load according to the length of the cargo and the weights involved. Whatever the cargo is, it must be restrained sufficiently to prevent rolling or shifting during transit. Additionally, of course, the regulations require that the drivers of the interstate trucks carrying the cargo must periodically inspect their load to make sure that it has been properly secured.

In virtually any accident involving a falling cargo situation, the Code of Federal Regulations will be implicated because the regulations themselves set forth the specific requirements for the safe and proper securement of cargo being transported in interstate commerce. The improper securement of cargo obviously can result in serious personal injury claims with life altering consequences. Accordingly, in any traffic accident involving falling cargo, it is imperative that an investigation be conducted as soon as possible to evaluate why it is that the cargo fell off the truck. Clearly, if proper securement regulations had been followed, which are designed to prevent all such incidents, the accident would probably have never occurred. Thus, typically, in any case involving falling cargo, there will be a violation of the Code of Federal Regulations, but as is true of any legal case, it is imperative that an investigation be conducted as soon as possible so that the issues can be carefully examined.


About Steve Wisebram

At Finch McCranie, LLP, Steven R. Wisebram focuses his practice of law on serious personal injury cases and business litigation. Over the last 35 years, he has amassed significant civil and criminal trial experience during his career, which provides his clients a distinct advantage in both the courtroom and in negotiations. Beginning in 2005, Mr. Wisebram has been selected to Georgia’s Super Lawyers list.

Before becoming a partner with Finch McCranie, LLP, Mr. Wisebram served in several attorney positions with the federal government. He began his legal career in 1977 as legal counsel to a Congressional Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. In 1980 he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia for almost seven years. For the last three years of that position, he also served on the United States Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Mr. Wisebram is licensed in the District of Columbia and the state of Georgia. He is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Eleventh Circuit.

He is a graduate of Harvard University and Emory Law School.