Shipper and Broker Liability for Truck Accident Injuries

Car drivers typically load and secure anything they put in their cars, but the same is not true of truckers and large truck cargo. Cargo that is improperly loaded or unsecured can cause dangerous truck wrecks that may not be the fault of the trucker or trucking company. Instead, the shipper or broker could be partially or solely responsible for the accident.

How Shippers Cause Truck Wrecks

A shipper is a company or person whose products are being carried by the truck. Shippers typically want to get as many of their products on a truck as possible. However, shippers have a responsibility to comply with all Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules. Accordingly, shippers must:

  • Provide adequate instructions about how the cargo should be loaded on trucks
  • Make sure that cargo is safely loaded and secured
  • Hire qualified employees or independent third parties, such as brokers, to make sure that cargo is loaded safely and securely

The failure to do any of these things can cause a severe truck accident.

How Brokers Cause Truck Wrecks

Typically, a broker isn’t employed by the shipper or the trucking company. Instead, brokers are third parties that arrange for transport of the shipper’s products by the trucking company.

While brokers don’t manufacture products or drive trucks, they can cause dangerous accidents by failing to hire a safe trucking company. Accidents aren’t always predictable. However, brokers have a responsibility to hire safe truckers even though they want to minimize costs by hiring low-cost truckers. If a broker doesn’t conduct a thorough background check or hires a trucking company with a poor safety record, then the broker may be at least partially responsible for a truck wreck.

Additionally, a broker may exert so much control over a trucker or trucking company that a principal-agent relationship exists. In these situations, the broker has so much control over the trucker that the broker may be liable for the trucker’s negligence.

What Caused Your Truck Accident?

At the moment of collision, you won’t know what caused your truck crash. You have no immediate way of knowing whether the cargo was improperly loaded or unsecured or whether the shipper, broker, trucking company, or trucker was legally responsible for loading truck cargo safely.

You can, however, find out why your accident occurred. An experienced Wisconsin truck accident lawyer will investigate all aspects of the truck crash to determine who was liable and who should compensate you for your accident injuries. Some of the evidence that we may gather and analyze includes:

  • Contracts between the broker, shipper, and trucking company
  • Shipping receipts
  • Shipper, broker, and trucking company communication logs, including the content of e-mails and texts and the time and date of phone calls
  • Shipper, broker, and trucking company records
  • Witness statements
  • Pictures and video

Once you find out why the truck wreck happened, then you can pursue a truck accident lawsuit to get the fair recovery that you deserve.

Now Is the Time to Protect Your Truck Crash Recovery

Truck accident cases involving shippers and brokers are often complicated. Our experienced truck accident lawyers will conduct the investigation that you need and provide you with all of your legal options. We will negotiate with the right insurers, and if a fair settlement can’t be reached, then we will pursue your recovery in court.

If someone else’s negligence caused your truck wreck, then you have the right to recover damages for your past and future:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost income
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering
  • Other accident-related expenses

You have a limited amount of time to file a Wisconsin truck accident case. Contact us today by phone or through this website to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. Over the past half-century, our lawyers have helped more than 70,000 personal injury victims recover more than $1 billion for their injuries. Let’s talk about how we may be able to help you recover after a Wisconsin truck crash injury.


Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.