cargo truck 2According to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were at least 3500 fatalities and over 100,000 individual injuries due to track crashes in 2019. The increased rate of fatalities often marked in truck crashes is mainly owed to their size and weight. In many cases, including many in Missouri City, the tractor-trailers carry heavy and hazardous goods that require extra care in their handling. The most notable type of dangerous goods is gasoline.

While there are many reasons why a truck accident can occur, there seems to be a common cause in all cases. Just like in other vehicle accidents, negligent driving and improper training can result in a crash. This is also the case in truck crashes. However, given the type of goods carried, commercial trucking companies and truck owners will in some cases overload the tractor-trailer in a bid to carry and transport more goods in one trip. This in turn saves the company time and money used to carry out such activities. That said, this also puts the lives of truck drivers and other motorists at risk. In case of such an accident, fatalities and a number of different injuries may occur. This is one of the reasons it is advisable to speak to a Missouri City overloaded truck accident lawyer to determine liability and have you compensated for your damages.

How Does an Overloaded Truck Accident Occur?

When a car’s weight exceeds the recommended capacity, it is much more difficult to operate. This is why every car has a specific limit of the weight it should carry. In the same manner, an overloaded truck may develop mechanical problems from being overweight, and as a result, its performance suffers. For example, an overloaded semi-truck may in many cases be much faster while going down a declining road, to the surprise of the truck driver. This may require more robust brake pads to make a complete stop in the shortest time possible.

The truck’s load and weight must be evenly distributed to ensure that neither of the axles is overloaded. An overloaded axle may cause the truck’s imbalance, leading to a rollover. Furthermore, an 18-wheeler with overloaded goods may cause crashes with other cars as the goods fall off. If this happens on a sharp bend or during overtaking, the sudden imbalance may lead to the loss of steering power and control, rollover, or a tire burst.

Who Will be Held Responsible for an Overloaded Tractor-Trailer Accident?

70% of truck crashes are preventable. This means that they are caused by the actions and inactions of those responsible for the maintenance and safe handling of the tractor-trailers. Likewise, an overloaded truck accident is caused by a particular party or entity, and determining the person(s) at fault is extremely important when your local attorney files an overloaded truck accident lawsuit.

The major parties that can be held responsible in an overloaded truck accident include:

The Trucking Company

The trucking company is often used to transport goods for the cargo owners. This means that the responsibility of ensuring the safety and proper handling of the goods is their mandate. If you were involved in a collision with an overloaded tractor-trailer, you may be able to sue the trucking company for your damages. In some cases, trucking companies will ferry excess and overweight goods in a bid to increase their profit margin by limiting the number of trips and amount of time used.

The Truck Driver

Truck drivers are expected to maintain high discipline standards during their operations. However, some engage in malpractice by helping to ferry third party goods without the knowledge of the vehicle owner or the trucking company. By doing this, they often disregard the need for maintaining safety measures. An overloaded commercial vehicle accident lawyer may help to determine the truck driver’s fault by examining whether the goods match those that are supposed to be transported under contract.

The Local Authorities

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Every state has laws that regulate the trucking industry. This is meant to curb accidents that arise from trucking malpractices such as carrying overloaded goods. For this reason, weighing bridges are erected to ensure that such rules are not violated.

But for some weigh station operators, the weighing bridges can be a cash cow for their gains. They may engage in corrupt activities such as receiving bribes to close a blind eye to overloaded trucks. Our overloaded truck accident lawyer will evaluate whether the truck passed through similar weight checks, and help bring the responsible person(s) to justice for your injuries.

Determining fault in an overloaded tractor-trailer accident is based on liability. This comes in the form of negligent retention or supervision of rogue workers, negligent hiring, and negligent entrustment. Regardless of the particular theory of liability, a Missouri City overloaded truck accident lawyer will evaluate all avenues possible to help determine fault, and maximize the compensation for your injuries. Call our office for a free consultation on your tractor-trailer accident case today.