Skip to Main Content
Call for a free Consultation 503-546-3167
banner background

Oregon Unsecured
Load Accidents

Start your free case review

We Handle Truck Accident Cases Caused by Unsecured Cargo Loads


Any kind of accident with a large truck or tractor-trailer can have devastating consequences. Unsecured cargo crashes in particular can result in life-altering injuries and differ from those involving regular passenger cars. To further complicate matters, there may be more than one liable party involved. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in an unsecured load accident in Oregon, there may be multiple avenues available to pursue compensation for your losses. It is in your best interest to consult an experienced Oregon truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after your collision.

At Johnston Law Firm, we have dedicated our careers to advocating for the legal rights of injury and accident victims in the Portland area and beyond. Our knowledgeable legal team is adept at handling all manner of truck accidents, including those caused by unsecured loads. 

Our goal is to go the distance to get Oregon families the restitution they need to rebuild their lives after a serious injury has occurred. To learn what our empathetic and dedicated law firm can do for you, schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney by filling out our online contact form

The Dangers of Unsecured Loads

A commercial vehicle’s unsecured load is not simply a traffic violation; it poses a significant risk to the safety of everyone on the road. Further, federal regulations are in place to ensure that trucking companies safely load and secure their freight. When transporting goods, truck drivers and cargo loaders must ensure that the load is stationary and properly tied down.

There are multiple scenarios in which unsecured loads can lead to accidents and injuries, such as:

  • Falling debris: Cargo that is improperly secured can fly off the truck during transit. It could strike other vehicles or pedestrians, causing significant injury and trauma. Additionally, the debris may land on the roadway, causing other drivers to swerve or break suddenly. Crashes often ensue.
  • Sudden turns or stops: When a load is improperly anchored, it may shift unexpectedly when the truck driver brakes quickly or makes a sudden turn. The shift in weight can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Loose cargo can lead to a rollover or jackknife accident, with potentially catastrophic consequences. 
  • Impaired visibility: When a truck is precariously loaded, the driver may have difficulty seeing other vehicles. This may be especially true when changing lanes or turning, contributing to the likelihood of an accident or injury. 

Clearly, unsecured cargo can be extremely dangerous. If you have been injured in an unsecured load accident, contact the personal injury attorneys of Johnston Law Firm as soon as possible. We can lead an investigation to determine exactly how your accident unfolded and build a strong injury claim for you.

Potential Liability in an Unsecured Load Accident Case

Compared to trucking accidents, car accidents are relatively straightforward. Often, it’s clear who is involved, and the liable party is the driver who hit you. 

On the other hand, determining liability can be rather complex when a truck loses its cargo and causes an accident. Depending on the circumstances and events leading up to the collision, you may be able to hold multiple parties accountable for your damages.

The following parties could potentially be held liable for an unsecured cargo accident:

  • The truck driver: A truck driver can be found at fault for an accident caused by an unsecured load if he or she acted negligently or recklessly. If the driver failed to operate the vehicle safely, used the incorrect braking method, or yanked the steering wheel, such actions could lead to losing the cargo even if it had been properly loaded and secured.
  • The trucking company: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes extensive cargo securement regulations on the trucking industry. Trucking companies are required to enforce these rules and any state laws that may apply. When a trucking company fails to ensure that all loads are secure, it could be held liable for an accident.
  • Cargo loaders: Trucking companies often employ third-party crews to load cargo onto trucks. If the loading team neglects the obligation to ensure the truckload is balanced, secure, and inspected, they may be accountable for an accident.
  • The freight broker: Freight brokers connect shippers and commercial carriers, often arranging trucks to carry cargo and ensuring freight arrives safely. If a trucker is ordered to carry an unsafe load or fails to follow proper procedures, the freight broker may be held liable for an unsecured load accident.

Establishing negligence and liability in unsecured load accidents can be tricky and emotionally demanding. It’s ideal to have experienced truck accident lawyers review the facts of your case. When they take on your case, they can pursue compensation from all potential at-fault parties with confidence.

Don’t miss out on these common personal injury mistakes.

Get the legal counsel you need to guide you through the process of filing an injury claim.

Get Help With the Decisions

Truck accident claims can be difficult to navigate. The idea of trying to prove truck driver negligence – or that of the trucking company and others – may seem like an impossible feat while recovering from your injuries. 

That’s where knowledgeable truck accident attorneys come into play. The right legal team for you will work hard against the negligent parties on your behalf, making every decision along the way with your needs foremost in mind.

Get Help With the Negotiations

Resolving an unsecured cargo accident claim will undoubtedly involve dealing with the insurance companies representing the truck driver and trucking company. Claims adjusters are notoriously difficult to reach an agreement with. Since an insurance adjuster’s priority is to pay as little for the claim against their client as possible, he or she will go to great lengths to minimize or even deny your damages.

Every unsecured load accident is unique and has many variables that impact the outcome of the case. The harm done to each accident victim will be different. A Johnston Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys work together to find the best course to a satisfactory resolution on our clients’ behalf while also holding insurers to their obligations. 

When we enter negotiations with insurance companies or go to trial on your behalf, you can be sure we are committed to helping you attain the greatest possible settlement for your losses. We can review your medical records, bills, receipts, invoices, and employment records to determine the complete cost of both your economic damages and other losses. From there, we will work tirelessly to resolve the case in your favor.

Stand Up for Your Rights

If you or someone dear to you has been in a severe accident, don’t go it alone. Truckers and loaders have a legal obligation to secure their cargo properly; when they fail to uphold this duty of care, you have every right to pursue restitution for your losses. 

You can find the help you need at Johnston Law Firm. We pride ourselves on holding negligent parties liable for the harm they inflict on others. In fact, we have settled some of the largest trucking cases in Oregon’s recent history.

Frequently Asked Questions

Proving something like this involves collecting specific types of evidence. Start by taking photos of the accident scene, including any visible cargo that may have shifted or fallen. Obtain a copy of the police report, which may note signs of unsecured cargo. Witness statements can provide crucial observations about the truck’s condition before the accident. Additionally, request maintenance and cargo loading records from the trucking company. Finally, contact a personal injury attorney so that they can secure all this valuable evidence.

Yes, unsecured cargo can lead to rollovers or jackknife accidents. When cargo is not properly secured, it can shift suddenly during transit, causing an imbalance. This sudden shift can destabilize the truck, especially when navigating curves or making abrupt maneuvers, increasing the risk of a rollover. Additionally, if the cargo shifts while the driver is braking, it can cause the trailer to swing out and form a jackknife position. Both scenarios pose significant dangers to the truck driver and other motorists, highlighting the critical importance of proper cargo securement.

To find out if the truck involved in your accident had previous violations for unsecured cargo, you can start by requesting the truck’s inspection and maintenance records from the trucking company. Additionally, you can check the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) database, which maintains records of violations and inspections for commercial vehicles. An experienced truck accident attorney can also help with such an investigation and they can obtain relevant records to support your case.

In Oregon, you have two years from the date of the vehicle accident involving an unsecured cargo load to file a personal injury claim. It’s crucial to act promptly to ensure all evidence is preserved and to maximize your chances of a successful claim.

Yes. These laws outline requirements for properly securing cargo to prevent it from shifting or falling during transit. Violations of these laws can result in fines and penalties for truck drivers and companies. Learn more about these laws here.

johnston profile

Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Today

When you give us a call, you give yourself a chance to see how Marc A. Johnston is the diligent, successful, and compassionate personal injury lawyer you need on your side. What’s more, we work for our clients as we would for members of our own family. We have helped hundreds of injured Oregonians put their lives back together after a devastating accident. 

Please don’t hesitate to call Johnston Law Firm, P.C. – or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free, confidential case review. Every injury victim deserves a voice, and we want to hear your story.


Contact Us for a FREE Consultation

If you have been seriously injured at no fault of your own, please contact us using the form.


CALL 503-546-3167 NOW