Unsecured Cargo Load Injuries

Trucks have an important function for the country’s commerce system. Every day, hundreds of them travel on the roads, carrying tons of heavy cargo. And it is absolutely necessary this cargo to be properly secured. Otherwise, there is a very high risk of the load to come loose and into contact with another vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian, causing very serious injuries or wrongful deaths.

There are many different hazards regarding unsecured truck loads, but the most common include improperly and inadequately held construction equipment being towed, automobiles being carried, and mobile homes being transported. This places obstacles in the road which can lead to accidents and injuries that can seriously injure or even kill drivers and passengers. In addition to being unsecured, cargo loads can also be improperly balanced, which can cause them to shift leading to poor braking, rollovers, and serious crashes on the nation’s roadways.

Drivers and other people using the roads can suffer serious injuries in Unsecured Cargo Load Accidents, such as:Plywood-in-window

- Overturned trucks on curves and corners

- Cargo or tarps falling onto the roadway

- Jackknife accidents when cargo shifts

- Hazardous cargo spills

There are strict limits on the total amount of weight trucks can carry on highways due to federal laws that are in place. Any truck that exceeds these limits are deemed to be overweight or overloaded and are in violation of the federal law because they take longer to stop and are generally harder to control. So, a large number of trucks on the road who are operating illegally, or who have cargo loads that are not properly secured put the public on roadways in danger.

In 2004, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that 25 000 motor vehicle accidents are caused each year by unsecured cargo loads on highways. According to Bellotti Law Group these car crashes result in 80 to 90 fatalities and many more serious injuries, including broken bones, closed head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and others.

unsecured cargo loadIn case you have been hurt because of unsecured cargo loads, you have to understand that you have legal rights and you may be able to bring forth a lawsuit to make those responsible account for your injuries. You should turn to a personal injury attorney who specializes in motor vehicle accidents immediately. These professionals can help you to obtain compensation for past, present, and future medical expenses, loss of income, loss of quality of life, pain and suffering.

Cases involving unsecured cargo loads can be quite complex because it is often difficult to determine liability. This is because the truck driver has a particular duty of care to inspect the load before the trip; however, the trucking company is required by federal laws and regulations to ensure cargo is properly secured for the driver. The shipper who arranges the load also has a duty of care to tie down and load the cargo properly. For these reasons, it is recommended not to act spontaneously and file a claim on your own, as you may overlook a responsible party.

Try to find a professional personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Time is of great importance, because evidence needs to be collected, witnesses need to be interviewed, and legal paperwork needs to be filed in time. Various states have different statutes of limitations and missing just one deadline can ruin the chances of a favorable outcome.

Weight Discrimination: Obesity Is More Than Just Health Problems

Obese individuals discrimination. Isn’t that illegal? Do we have laws protecting against weight discrimination?

A recent Wall Street Journal article, entitled: Weigh More, Pay More on Samoa Air, reports that a tiny South Pacific airline is pioneering a radical pricing model that no other airline has dared to try: charging passengers based on their weight.

Samoa Air customers flying on short international distances are set to pay US $ 0.92 per kilogram for each flight.

According to the World Health Organization, about 55.5% of the country’s population over the age of 20 is considered obese, what explains why passenger weight is the matter of great importance for Samoa Air, which operates with smaller planes that seat between three and 10 passengers each. That means a grossly fat passenger could essentially reduce a plane’s capacity, which in its turn could cause a loss of company’s income.

“We are like a shopkeeper; we are selling weight. But with the weight goes the responsibility of being able to seat the passenger comfortably,” said Samoa Air Chief Executive Chris Langton to The Wall Street Journal. He paid attention to the fact that while a 160-kilogram person on Samoa Air will pay four times as much as a 40 kilogram person, the airline would ensure more space for the bigger passenger.

The change caused heated discussion on Samoa Air’s Facebook page, where many called for a boycott of the airline based on discrimination. There were others who absolutely commended the company for its decision on charging by weight.

While Samoa Air could wake up the profit-starved industry, many of the world’s airlines have so far been hesitating to gain advantage from passenger weight because of discrimination concerns.

There is no doubt that a great number of Americans are obese. According to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012, a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health, half of all American adults are expected to be obese by 2030.before

The social consequences of obesity include discrimination in employment, barriers in education, biased attitudes from health care professionals, stereotypes in the media, and stigma in interpersonal relationships.

As most cases involving weight are employment discrimination cases, and many of them are unsuccessful, in an article by Donna Ballman entitled: Is Weight Discrimination At Work Illegal?, are reported the top ways you might be protected under the law against discrimination if you’re overweight:

1. Disability DiscriminationThe Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees from discrimination due to disabilities. EEOC considers morbid obesity to be a protected disability. If your life activity is essentially limited because of your weight, then you may be protected against discrimination.

Overweight people who are not “morbidly obese” but who experience weight discrimination cannot file claims under the ADA because they are not considered disabled. These unresolved issues, along with public perceptions that blame obese people for their own negative experiences, result in inconsistent court rulings and deter other overweight people from seeking legal recourse at all.

2. Sex Discrimination – Very often, women are expected to be slim but men aren’t. If your employer is holding women to different standards than men (or vice versa) then they may be guilty of sex discrimination.

3. Family and Medical Leave – If you need medical treatment because of your weight problems, you may be protected for days you miss work under the Family and Medical Leave Act. You can get protected leave for each of your doctor’s appointments, for up to a total of 12 weeks per year. You can use both intermittent and continuous FMLA leave as your doctor requires.

4. State and Local Laws – Very few, but nevertheless, some states and municipalities have limitations on appearance or weight discrimination (for example, Michigan has a state law).

However, if you are in none of the protected categories above, that all changes, and you have to fight your battles alone. Despite increased attention to the obesity epidemic, little has been done to stop the discrimination that obese people face every day. No federal laws exist to prohibit bullying and harassment against obese people. Many forms of discrimination are perfectly legal.

However, some of these “legal” kinds of discrimination may also have an illegal effect. Try to look around and see if what’s happening is really about sex, race, age, disability, pregnancy, national origin, or some other type of illegal discrimination.

Obesity is an extremely complex condition and it’s going to require many different solutions.