Riding beside a big rig truck on a highway is scary enough. Still, considering that you have no idea what is in the trailer and whether or not it was loaded correctly, it becomes even more intimidating. Federal and state laws restrict truck loads because improper loading presents a danger to the truck driver and everyone else on the road. If you suffered an injury in a truck accident because of an overloaded trailer, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault parties involved in the loading process.
What truck drivers carry in the trailer and how they load it plays a significant role in their safety and the safety of others on the road. Some common ways that an overloaded truck can present a hazard to other drivers include:
When any of those scenarios occur, it is almost impossible to ensure everyone stays safe on the road. In addition, trucks make up a significant number of vehicles on highways and interstates, where they ride side-by-side with other vehicles under varying conditions. Therefore, drivers and trucking companies owe a duty of care to everyone else on the road.
Determining liability is a crucial step for a personal injury lawsuit. What makes truck accidents unique is that there are often multiple parties that are or could be responsible for your actions, and only one of them is present at the time of the crash. Some potential at-fault parties include:
Collecting evidence to support a liability claim is vital to your case. However, because it can be so complex, you would likely benefit from speaking with a truck accident lawyer about your case.
The laws that regulate weight limits vary from state to state, but every state considers the number and width of tires on the truck, the ratings from manufacturers, and the axles. The Federal Bridge Formula determines how much weight a truck can bear when traveling on the interstates. It considers the number of axles, the space between them, and how both affect the distribution of weight.
Additionally, states use Bridge Law to calculate the weight a truck can bear based on the distance along its route. The law requires each state to conduct reviews to ensure that trucks never carry more weight per route than the axles can handle.
Northern states also implement Frost Laws. These laws require consideration of the road surface when determining weight limits. As winter turns into spring, states in cold climates deal with thawing ground that softens and reduces the road’s ability to withstand heavier loads. To accommodate these seasonal issues, states came up with Frost Laws to regulate changes in weight limits during the changing seasons. Heavy trucks can damage the roadways during this time.
Given the size of large commercial trucks, which can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, the damages to a smaller vehicle and its passengers can be devastating. If you sustained bodily injuries and vehicle damage in an accident with an overloaded truck, you may be entitled to compensatory damages.
Compensatory damages include the financial and non-economic losses you suffered due to the other driver’s negligence. Financial or economic damages include:
Another component of compensatory damages is the non-economic losses. The physical pain and suffering you endured have a monetary value in the court. The same is true for mental anguish, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and losing the ability to enjoy your life. Any way the accident and your injuries negatively impact your life is compensatory.
In the aftermath of a truck accident, you have a significant amount of healing to do, especially if you suffered severe injuries or lost someone you love. Getting the compensation you need often means going through the complex process of filing a lawsuit and proving your claim. However, you do not need to do that alone. Some ways an overloaded truck accident lawyer can help you include:
At Fielding Law, our experienced truck accident attorneys are available to answer your questions and help you build a case for compensation. The complex nature of a truck accident lawsuit means you could benefit from having someone with legal education and experience on your side. We can offer you peace of mind and keep you informed of our plans and your options every step of the way. Contact Fielding Law today for a free case evaluation, and we will start working on your case immediately.