Clarksburg Overloaded Truck Accident Lawyer
Accidents involving tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles can result in devastating injuries and extensive property damage. When trucks exceed weight limits or the loads are improperly balanced, the potential for accidents can increase dramatically. Overloaded vehicle crashes can also make any personal injury claims much more complex since liability may shift to the trucking company, and federal regulations may apply.
For this reason, it can be helpful for victims to work with an experienced commercial vehicle crash attorney. A Clarksburg overloaded truck accident lawyer could identify the responsible parties and pursue all available sources of compensation.
Weight Limits Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
West Virginia has adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) regarding weight limits for commercial vehicles. Federal law has established limits of 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, 20,000 pounds on a single axle, and 34,000 pounds on a tandem axle group. If the gross vehicle weight exceeds 26,000 pounds, inclusive of cargo, then that truck is also subject to the FMCSRs. These regulations were put in place because weight affects a truck’s ability to stop.
However, even if the truck is compliant with federal weight regulations, other factors can create a dangerous situation. A truck may be carrying too much cargo by volume, hauling cargo in a dangerous fashion, or the load might be unevenly distributed. Additionally, the vehicle itself may not be equipped to handle the maximum weight set by the law. For example, if a truck’s brakes were faulty, then the vehicle may not stop effectively under a heavy load.
The Dangerous of Overweight Commercial Vehicles
When a vehicle is overloaded, it takes longer to come to a stop. If an overweight truck is approaching a stoplight or a hazard, it needs to apply its brakes sooner or at a greater distance than if it were in compliance with the weight limitations. Drivers often have to suddenly respond to changing conditions, and a truck that cannot stop in time poses a serious risk to other motorists.
Additionally, overweight vehicles cannot make movements as quickly as those within the federal guidelines. Whether those movements are turns, lane changes, or accelerations, an overloaded truck cannot maneuver as quickly. This can make it difficult for even the best truck operators to react to hazards.
Common Injuries Sustained in Overloaded Truck Collisions
Due to the immense size and weight of a tractor-trailer, collisions tend to result in extremely serious injuries. When a commercial vehicle is overweight, the impact can be even worse. Clarksville overweight truck accident attorneys often see head trauma, fractured pelvises, and broken backs. In the most severe accidents, victims can lose their lives.
The type of cargo a truck is carrying can change the nature of the injuries in various ways. For instance, if a truck is carrying flammable liquid, it presents a greater risk of burn injuries. If the cargo is livestock or other objects that are not completely contained, they can come loose when a wreck occurs. This can cause additional injuries and spread the damage over a larger area, potentially harming the drivers of multiple vehicles.
Liability for Improperly-Loaded Commercial Vehicle Accidents
When a truck is overweight or overloaded, there are many potential people or businesses that could be found liable. Attorneys often begin with the truck driver. In some cases, the trucking company could be liable for failing to comply with federal regulations. Additionally, a person who knowingly overloaded the vehicle may bear responsibility for the crash. Sometimes, juries find the brokers who arranged for the deliveries liable.
Because several different parties can be at fault for a truck crash, these cases can be extremely complex. Additionally, numerous insurance providers may be responsible for compensating a victim, depending on the person or company found liable.
Call a Clarksburg Overweight Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you were hurt in a collision with a commercial vehicle, you should consider contacting a Clarksburg overloaded truck accident lawyer. Knowledgeable attorneys could decipher complex federal regulations, navigate confusing insurance schemes, and identify the responsible parties in pursuit of fair compensation. Call today to learn how a lawyer could help.