According to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were at least 3,500 fatalities and over 100,000 individual injuries due to truck crashes in 2019. The higher fatality rate in truck crashes can largely be attributed to the size and weight of these vehicles. In many cases, particularly in Missouri City, tractor-trailers carry heavy and hazardous goods that require careful handling, with gasoline being a notable example.
While there can be various reasons for a truck accident, a common cause is often negligence and improper training. This applies to truck crashes as well. However, due to the nature of the goods being transported, some commercial trucking companies and owners may overload the tractor-trailer in an attempt to transport more goods in a single trip. This approach saves time and money for the company but puts the lives of truck drivers and other motorists at risk. Such accidents can result in fatalities and various injuries. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a Missouri City overloaded truck accident lawyer to determine liability and seek compensation for your damages.
When a car exceeds its recommended weight capacity, it becomes more challenging to operate. That’s why every car has a specified weight limit. Similarly, an overloaded truck can experience mechanical problems due to the excess weight, leading to compromised performance. For instance, an overloaded semi-truck may unexpectedly accelerate while traveling downhill, catching the truck driver off guard. This may require stronger brake pads to achieve a complete stop in the shortest possible time.
It is crucial for the truck’s load and weight to be evenly distributed to avoid overloading any of the axles. An overloaded axle can cause imbalance in the truck, potentially resulting in a rollover. Moreover, an 18-wheeler carrying excessive cargo may cause collisions with other vehicles if the goods fall off. If this occurs on a sharp curve or during overtaking, the sudden imbalance can lead to loss of steering control, rollover, or tire blowout.
70% of truck crashes are preventable, indicating that they are caused by the actions or negligence of those responsible for maintaining and safely operating the tractor-trailers. Similarly, an overloaded truck accident is typically caused by a specific party or entity, making it crucial to determine fault when filing an overloaded truck accident lawsuit with your local attorney.
The main parties that may be held responsible in an overloaded truck accident include:
Trucking companies are often responsible for transporting goods on behalf of cargo owners. They have the duty to ensure the safety and proper handling of the goods. If you were involved in a collision with an overloaded tractor-trailer, you may have grounds to sue the trucking company for your damages. In some cases, trucking companies may transport excess and overweight goods in an attempt to increase their profit margins by reducing the number of trips and time required.
Truck drivers are expected to maintain high standards of professionalism during their operations. However, some may engage in misconduct by transporting third-party goods without the knowledge of the vehicle owner or the trucking company. In doing so, they often disregard safety measures. An overloaded commercial vehicle accident lawyer can assist in determining the truck driver’s fault by examining whether the transported goods align with the contractual requirements.
Truck owners bear the responsibility of ensuring that their vehicles comply with the required weight limits, even when rented out. If a rented truck is overloaded and causes an accident resulting in injury or death, our experienced truck accident attorneys can assist the surviving estate or the injured party in suing the owner.
Every state has laws in place to regulate the trucking industry and prevent accidents resulting from malpractices such as carrying overloaded goods. Weighing stations are established to ensure compliance with these regulations.
Unfortunately, some weigh station operators exploit the situation for personal gain. They may engage in corrupt activities, such as accepting bribes to turn a blind eye to overloaded trucks. Our overloaded truck accident lawyer will assess whether the truck passed through similar weight checks and assist in holding the responsible individuals accountable for your injuries.
Establishing fault in an overloaded tractor-trailer accident relies on liability factors such as negligent retention or supervision of employees, negligent hiring, and negligent entrustment. Regardless of the specific theory of liability, a Missouri City overloaded truck accident lawyer will explore all possible avenues to determine fault and maximize compensation for your injuries. Contact our office today for a free consultation regarding your tractor-trailer accident case.