Overweight / Overloaded Trucks
Federal and state laws impose weight restrictions on commercial trucks. These regulations are necessary because commercial trucks pose a unique danger to other motorists due to their weight and size. When overweight or overloaded trucks are involved in a collision, the impact commonly causes catastrophic injuries and fatalities. If you were injured because a truck driver or trucking company violated weight regulations, you may be able to recoup your losses by bringing a lawsuit in civil court. The experienced Syracuse truck accident lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represent people who have been hurt in accidents involving commercial trucks. Seeking legal counsel early on allows a full investigation soon after the overweight or overloaded truck accident while the evidence is still accessible.Overweight / Overloaded Trucks
Commercial truck drivers and trucking companies must appropriately distribute the loads on their trucks so that none of the axles bear too much weight. A truck’s performance depends on proper loading and adherence to regulations. When a truck has a misdistribution of weight, the truck can be thrown off balance, leading to a loss of steering control, the truck rolling over or jackknifing in traffic, or even a tire blowout. Furthermore, trucks that are overweight or overloaded can be more difficult to slow down because they requiring longer braking distances.
Overloaded trucks also place more stress on cargo restraints. If weakened, the restraints may fail and allow objects of varying sizes to fall off the truck and strike nearby vehicles.
While a truck driver may walk away from an accident relatively unscathed, those in smaller vehicles may suffer catastrophic injuries, including amputations, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord damage. It may be possible to recover compensation for your damages by bringing a personal injury lawsuit, and a dedicated truck accident lawyer can help.Truck Driver Liability for Overweight / Overloaded Trucks
When an overloaded truck is involved in an accident, the truck driver or one of the other parties responsible for ensuring the safe loading of the truck may have acted negligently. Many claims against truck drivers are brought under a theory of negligence, which alleges that somebody breached a duty of reasonable care owed to others on the road such that injuries and other losses resulted. Generally, truck drivers who operate overweight or overloaded trucks may be culpable in a lawsuit arising out of negligence.
For example, truck drivers should use the weigh stations positioned along their route to verify that their load is under the truck’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Unfortunately, some truck drivers do not use these stations or reduce their load once they realize the truck is overloaded. If a truck driver ignored the GVWR, and caused an accident due to an overweight truck, a jury may find that the truck driver had acted negligently.Trucking Company Liability
Trucking companies must adequately monitor their drivers. Unfortunately, some trucking companies not only ignore signs that their truck drivers are overloading their vehicles, but also encourage overloading to meet particular delivery times and increase the company’s profits. Companies that encourage truck drivers and third-party loaders to overload the truck or fail to ensure their drivers are inspecting the trucks may be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit. Trucking companies may be liable under a theory of vicarious liability or under a theory of negligent hiring, training, or supervision.Other Potential Defendants in a Truck Accident Lawsuit
After an accident caused by an overweight truck, investigators must carefully search for all contributing causes. Other parties who may share in the culpability for this type of accident include third-party loading companies, mechanics, and manufacturers of truck components. Some accidents may require that an accident reconstruction expert be sent out to the site quickly, to determine what happened and how blame should be apportioned.Retain a Seasoned Truck Accident Lawyer in Syracuse
Persons injured in commercial truck accidents caused by an overweight or overloaded truck should consult with an experienced attorney. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents clients injured in truck accidents in Rochester, Syracuse and everywhere in Upstate New York, including in Auburn, Canandaigua, Lyons, Oswego, Watertown, Elmira, Herkimer, Ithaca, Lowville, Utica, Wampsville, Binghamton, Oneida, and Cooperstown. Contact DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or via our online form.